Alexey Navalny, the Russian opposition leader and outspoken Kremlin critic, returned to Moscow on Sunday and was immediately detained.
Navalny survived an attempt on his life when he was poisoned months ago. A stunning investigation last month reported that he had been trailed by an FSB unit for a long period of time.
In an interview a few months ago, when asked if he would go back to Russia, Navalny said, “Of course I’m going back. If I don’t, that will be the ideal outcome for them. They’d love to have me as just another political émigré.”
Navalny flew back to Moscow on Sunday and was summarily detained.
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) January 17, 2021
There has already been an outpouring of support for Navalny, and Jake Sullivan — incoming national security adviser for Joe Biden — called for him to be “immediately released.”
Mr. Navalny should be immediately released, and the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable. The Kremlin’s attacks on Mr. Navalny are not just a violation of human rights, but an affront to the Russian people who want their voices heard.
— Jake Sullivan (@jakejsullivan) January 17, 2021
CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen reported live from Moscow this afternoon and walked through the chain of events that led to his arrest.
“Alexey Navalny believes the Russian government is afraid of him, that Vladimir Putin is afraid of him… Before he was detained, he actually gave a short speech to some of the people who had been with him on the plane,” he added. “He said he believes that this shows that the Russian government is afraid of him.”
You can watch CNN’s report above.
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