The story between Russian President Vladimir Putin and opposition leader Alexei Navalny has taken an intense turn. In their recent return to Russia, Navalny and his wife have both been arrested. Protests have erupted across Russia over the past few days leading to clashes with police.
Back in the summer, Alexei Navalny was poisoned. He believes that Putin was behind the attack. Navalny was on a flight at the time of the poisoning and had to have an emergency landing in order to survive. He was able to recover in Germany. The German government declared that a novichok agent was used as the poison. “The Kremlin has denied any state role in the attack on Mr Navalny and disputes the Novichok allegation” (BBC).
Navalny returned to Russia on Sunday after recovering from his poisoning. He is currently being detained. “The judge ordered Mr Navalny’s detention until 15 February for violating his parole. He will have another hearing on 29 January to determine whether his suspended sentence of three-and-a-half years should be replaced with a jail term” (BBC).
Those who support Navalny have taken to protesting for his release. The protests are of note because they are the largest anti-Kremlin protests since 2018. There has been much violence associated with the protests throughout the country. The absolutely frigid temperatures in parts of the country did not stop people from protesting with reports that some were out in minus fifty-eight degrees fahrenheit (Bloomberg).
Though Navalny is detained, he has continued to go after Putin by showing a video that looks into a palace allegedly owned by Putin. “The 44-year-old opposition leader has continued to challenge Putin from prison, drawing nearly 70 million views on YouTube since Tuesday for a new video investigation into a giant Black Sea palace that he says belongs to the president” (Bloomberg).
On Saturday, Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, was detained. She joins more than 2,100 people who have been detained regarding the protests throughout the country (CNN).
BBC. “Alexei Navalny: Poisoned Putin Critic Navalny to Be Kept in Custody.” BBC News, BBC, 19 Jan. 2021, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55700312.
BBC. “Alexei Navalny: Russia’s Vociferous Putin Critic.” BBC News, BBC, 18 Jan. 2021, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-16057045.
Kottasová, Ivana, and Zahra Ullah. “Protests in Support of Jailed Opposition Leader Navalny Sweep across Russia.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Jan. 2021, http://www.cnn.com/2021/01/23/europe/russia-navalny-oposition-demonstrations-intl/index.html.
Rudnitsky, Jake, and Irina Reznik. “Jailed Putin Foe Navalny Rallies Supporters Across Russia.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 23 Jan. 2021, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-23/jailed-putin-foe-navalny-rallies-supporters-despite-crackdown?utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&utm_content=business&utm_source=twitter&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business.