He knew what was waiting for him … Why did Navalny travel back to Russia?

It must be said that yesterday, on January 28, as many had already predicted, the Moscow Regional Court rejected the politician’s defense appeal for his pre-trial detention for 30 days, Medusa reports.

Navalny’s defense in the complaint pointed to a number of inconsistencies with current law.

Judge Musa Musayev stated that the previous verdict handed down by the Khimki court would remain unchanged. It provides for the arrest of Navalny until 15 February.

“This is a clear illegality to intimidate me and other people,” Navalny told the court via video call.

Why did you return home?

The politician arrived in his homeland from Germany, where he was being treated for poisoning by the Novičok group, on January 17 on a flight with the airline Pobeda.

“The question of whether to return or not was never there. Because I hadn’t gone anywhere. I found myself in Germany arriving at the resuscitation box for one reason – trying to kill me. I survived,” Navalni told his followers on Instagram.

He also said that he was not particularly interested in the actions of “Putin’s servants” in “fabricating new criminal cases against him”.

“He shouts all over his bunker and makes his servants do everything so I don’t come back. The servants do as usual: fabricate new criminal cases against me. But what they do there doesn’t particularly interest me. Russia is my country, Moscow is my city, I miss them, “Navalny wrote on the social network Instagram on the day he bought tickets to Russia.

He also told reporters on the plane that day that he was a Russian citizen who had every right to return home.

After arriving at Moscow airport, Navalny said in a brief conversation with reporters that he felt happy calling the day “the best day of the last five months.”

He also said he was not afraid of arrest.

Navalny’s colleague Vladimir Ashurkov, executive director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, who is himself in exile in London, told the TIME newspaper that he had also decided to offer Navalny to run the fund remotely from another country where he would be safe.

“When we started talking, I realized that this is not an option. His fight is taking place in Russia, and he did nothing wrong,” Ashurkov said.

Ben Nobl, who teaches politics at a university college in the UK, told TIME that Navalny’s return has put Putin in an awkward position as the Kremlin’s move now makes him more popular. Rapid arrest also means only that the authorities try to hide the opposition from the public eye as soon as possible. According to him, the diversion of the plane from Vnukova to Sheremetyevo airport was also a deliberate move, because the Kremlin did not want to allow Navalny to be expected as a hero.

It is recalled that Vnukovo Airport, where Navalny was scheduled to arrive and was met by hundreds of supporters and journalists, was closed for technical reasons.

“They’re scared,” he said in a video that was recorded from the courtroom where he was initially sentenced to 30 days in pre-trial detention.

“They are afraid of those people who can break the silence and be aware of their strength … I urge you to break the silence, resist and take to the streets. There are so many of us,” Navalny said.

Also yesterday, on January 28, in the courtroom, he expressed his conviction of justice, wanting to change the state system: “I am glad that more and more people now understand that rights are on our side, that the truth is on our side and that we are indeed the majority. And we will not allow a herd of criminals to impose their rules on our country. Those who take to the streets are, in fact, the last line of defense against our country falling into the worst condition, so that those in power now do not steal it all! “

On January 23, several demonstrations of support for Navalny took place across the country. They ended in mass arrests, with more than four thousand people detained across the country and a number of criminal proceedings.

Protests are likely to be Navalny’s only hope. According to Reuters, a court is scheduled for February 2, in which a judge will consider the state’s request to convert the suspended sentence sentenced to him into a real prison sentence.

Navalny’s comrades have called on the people to gather again on Sunday to protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What was Navalny arrested for?

In December 2014, a Moscow court found the Navalnijus brothers guilty of fraud and robbery of Yves Rocher’s assets, sentenced Alexei Navalni to three and a half years in prison and five years in prison in the general regime colony.

At the same time, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that the Navalny brothers have been denied the right to a fair trial in this case and have been compensated by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

The probation period set by the court expired on December 30, 2020.

The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) had threatened Navalny to replace the suspended sentence with an actual prison sentence because he was “disregarding” his judicial duties “and” evading control by the Criminal Enforcement Inspectorate “.

The FSIN issued a press release late last year, citing a publication in The Lancet, stating that Navalny had been discharged from a hospital in Berlin where he had been treated for a poisoning attempt on September 20, but that by 12 October “all of his illnesses consequences “.

Thus, according to the authorities, Navalny should have returned to Russia as a conditional convict.

FSIN went to court to replace the suspended sentence imposed on Navalny with a real prison sentence.

At the end of the year, he was issued a search warrant “with an order ordering his detention, locating him”.

“Further measures for Navalny will be determined by the court. Until the court’s decision, he will be under guard. The arrest of the citizen Navalny was in accordance with the decision of the FSIN Moscow chief, according to which he was declared in search of systematic violations of probation conditions,” FSIN said.

It should be noted that another criminal case has been initiated against Navalny in connection with the fraud of resources in his Corruption Prevention Fund (FBK). If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

The opposition is indifferent

Navalny was reportedly ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20 last year, and was unconsciously taken to Omsk Hospital with symptoms of poisoning.

On August 22, Navalny was transferred from Russia to Germany, where he was treated by the Charite Clinic of the University of Berlin.

On 2 September, Germany stated that indisputable evidence had been obtained that Navalny had been poisoned by a nerve-paralyzing warfare substance belonging to the Novichok group. This conclusion has also been confirmed by laboratories in France and Sweden, as well as by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

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