Kremlin critic Navalny urges action against Putin regime after being jailed

Alexei Navalny was previously targeted with a nerve agent.

22 March 2022

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has urged people to take action against the “deceitful and thievish” regime of President Vladimir Putin after being sentenced to nine years in a maximum security prison.

The Russian opposition leader, one of Mr Putin’s most vocal critics, was convicted of fraud and contempt of court.

Following the conviction, tweets were posted on Navalny’s Twitter account calling for action against the “war criminals” of Mr Putin’s regime.

Navalny, who was previously the victim of a nerve agent poisoning, is founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and his website says he has already been in prison for 428 days.

Tweets posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday said: “As I said in my ‘last word’, we are not just continuing the operations of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, we are going to take them to a new level.

“The ACF will become a global international organization. And we really need you in it.”

He said the money given to him by the European Parliament as part of the Sakharov Prize will be the first contribution to the fund.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, centre, is seen via a video link provided by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, standing among Penitentiary Service officers during a court session in Pokrov, Vladimir region, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of Moscow, Russia
Alexei Navalny, centre, is seen via a video link during a court session in Pokrov, Vladimir region, about 62 miles east of Moscow (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

“EU citizens, via their representatives, gave me this award for the fight against corruption. I am grateful and I’m allocating their money to continue this fight,” he said.

Navalny said on his Twitter account that Mr Putin is “afraid of the truth”, adding: “Fighting against censorship and bringing the truth to the people of Russia has remained our priority.

“The Kremlin smashes the media, and in response we create new ones.”

The Twitter thread added: “I am very grateful to everyone for their support. And, guys, I want to say: the best support for me and other political prisoners is not sympathy and kind words, but actions.

“Any activity against the deceitful and thievish Putin’s regime. Any opposition to these war criminals.

“In 2013, after hearing my first verdict, I wrote this and now I will repeat it: don’t be idle. This toad sitting on an oil pipe will not overthrow itself.

“I hug and love everyone!”

Navalny also tweeted: “9 years. Well, as the characters of my favorite TV series ‘The Wire’ used to say: ‘You only do two days. That’s the day you go in and the day you come out’.

“I even had a T-shirt with this slogan, but the prison authorities confiscated it, considering the print extremist.”

The Associated Press said Navalny was accused of embezzling money that he and his foundation raised as well as insulting a judge during a previous trial, allegations he rejects.

Downing Street said the prison term handed to Navalny was the continuation of “trumped up charges that Putin uses against those that seek to hold him to account”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with Alexei Navalny and his family as he continues to show incredible bravery in standing up to the Putin regime.”

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