Thursday, February 25, 2021

Navalny says judgment serves to “scare millions”

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced Tuesday to three and a half years in prison by a Moscow tribune for violating the terms of a 2014 fraud sentence and parole imposed at the time.

Still, the judge subtracted almost a year from that sentence because of the time he spent under house arrest at the time. In other words, Navalny will serve only two years and eight months in prison.

This decision promises to ignite the already tense relationship between the Kremlin and supporters of the anti-corruption activist, which has prompted authorities to take a large number of riot police to centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg, in anticipation of new demonstrations in Navalny.

Navalny described his appearance before the courts as an attempt to “frighten millions” and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will go down in history as a poisoner”.

“The most important thing in this process is to frighten a huge number of people. They arrested me to scare millions of others ”, proclaimed the opponent, who could be sentenced between two and a half years and three and a half years in prison for having violated, according to the authorities, the terms of his judicial control.

“This is not a show of strength, but of weakness. You cannot arrest hundreds of thousands, or millions of people, it is impossible, ”he said.

“When they realize, and that moment will come, you will not be able to arrest the whole country,” he insisted.

The opponent again accused the Russian President of having ordered his poisoning with a Novitchok-type neurotoxic agent in August 2020.

Vladimir Putin “will go down in history as the ‘slipe’ poisoner”, he invetivated, in an allusion to the way he was poisoned.

“We demonstrated and proved that Putin, via the FSB [os serviços de informações], committed a assassination attempt and that I’m not the only one [vítima]. Many also know it, others will know it, and it drives this little being crazy in his bunker ”, he said.

According to Navalny, the poison that was intended to eliminate him was placed on his clothes when he was in a hotel during a trip to the Siberian city of Tomsk.

Navalny said it was demonstrated that “Putin committed this assassination attempt”. “You know, today one Alexander (II), the Liberator, and one Yaroslav, the Sage, and we have Vladimir, the Poisoner”.

The opponent stressed that “everyone was convinced that he [Putin] he was a simple employee, who was put in charge by chance. He never participated in a debate. Your only means of struggle is murder ”.

Navalny, who was arrested on January 17 on his return from Germany, where he was convalescing, also demanded his immediate release and that of all detainees.

“My life is worth three cents. But I will do everything possible for the law to prevail and I greet all honest people who are not afraid to take to the streets across the country, ”he said.

More than 230 people were arrested today in the vicinity of the Court from the Russian capital, where strict security measures have been established.

The Kremlin rejected all Western criticisms of Navalny’s detention and the disproportionate use of force by the anti-police against the protests of 23 and 31 January in support of the opponent, where about 10,000 people were detained or identified.

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Navalny says judgment serves to "scare millions"