Berlin [Germany], January 25: Supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny demonstrated today in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, where they set up a replica of the small prison cell to which he was transferred several times, in an attempt to raise awareness of his fate.
Some of the hundreds of participants in the protest, including Oleg Navalny's brother, held banners calling for the release of all political prisoners in Russia, while others demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin be tried for war crimes in Ukraine.
Rally organizer Leonid Volkov, head of the anti-corruption organization Navalny founded more than a decade ago, said that "there is a connection between what is happening to him and the war in Ukraine."
Navalny has repeatedly spoken against the war in court, and Volkov said today that the poisoning of an opposition member in 2020 and his subsequent imprisonment after returning from Germany were part of the Kremlin's reckoning with the Russian opposition before the start of the attack on Ukraine.
Volkov said the Russian authorities are still sensitive to external pressure, such as the recent petition by hundreds of doctors for Navalny to receive medical treatment in prison.
Navalny, 46, Putin's most prominent opponent, is serving a nine-year sentence in a maximum-security prison. He was arrested in January 2021 after returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that the Kremlin accuses. In March 2022, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison for fraud and contempt of court, which he describes as a politically motivated attempt by Russian authorities to keep him behind bars for as long as possible.
Source: Beta News Agency