Russian Riot Police Brutally Crack Down Following Navalny Verdict

Clay Curtis
February 3, 2021

But a Russian court in December 2014 nonetheless handed the brothers sentences of three years and six months apiece. He says the case was fabricated.

He has been in detention since returning to Russian Federation last month.

He was accused of violating parole conditions by refusing to check in with prison officials and was arrested when he flew back to Moscow on January 17 from Germany, where he spent months recovering from a poisoning.

Navalny accuses Putin of ordering his murder, something the Kremlin denies.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Navalny's conviction "unacceptable" and called for his immediate release.

"The regime has clearly chosen to stay in power at any price, so we shouldn't be surprised that those pretty Moscow streets, still adorned with Christmas decorations, were filled up with occupation troops straight from Star Wars movies", Sergei Guriev, a prominent Russian economist and Navalny supporter, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Wednesday.

And police were willing to use baton strikes and Tasers to get them inside, a level of violence not yet seen.

The prison sentence for Navalny and Russia's tough police response to peaceful protests drew harsh criticism from the United States and European Union nations. Protests have broken out in dozens of Russian cities, from Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean to Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.

The authorities have not commented on the reported numbers.

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His lawyers say the accusation is absurd as the authorities knew he was recovering in Berlin from the nerve agent attack that almost killed him in Russian Federation. "They can't put millions and hundreds of thousands in jail". I'm not the only one - many know this already and many others will. And this is driving the thieving little man in the bunker insane.

"No matter how much he tries to look like a geopolitician, he took offence at me because he will go down in history as a poisoner".

After the ruling, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for Navalny's release, warning Washington and its allies would "hold Russian Federation accountable for failing to uphold the rights of its citizens".

In a fiery courtroom speech ahead of the ruling, Mr Navalny accused Mr Putin of trying to intimidate his critics and mocked the Russian leader over allegations the Novichok nerve agent used to poison him had been placed in his underwear.

Just before the ruling that is certain to ignite more protests across the country, Navalny on Tuesday had denounced the proceedings as a vain attempt by the Kremlin to scare millions of Russians into submission. At the same time, and perhaps even more importantly, he gave people hope that changes were possible, at least in the future.

But on Sunday some protesters brandished gold-coloured toilet brushes, a symbol of their anger about the palace.

As part of his suspended sentence, Navalny was expected to show up for checks with Russia's prison service (FSIN) twice a month up until December 30, 2020.

In recent days police have arrested many of Navalny's top aides, who assist him in his Anti-Corruption Network (FBK).

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