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Navalny Scores Points In Standoff With The Kremlin

Thousands of people across Russia have been hit by the iconic victory of imprisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who has promised a protracted conflict with the Kremlin, especially dangerous, this weekend. He bravely confronted police violence and legal action.

Vladimir Putin’s biggest enemy has been imprisoned since returning from Germany to Russia in mid-January, spending five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning blaming the Russian president.

But even from behind the bar, the 44-year-old anti-transplant activist was able to score points in the fight against the Kremlin.





Navalny’s up-and-coming protests are not trivial
AFP / Kirill KUDRY AVTSEV

In addition to Saturday’s rally across Russia, his study of a luxury complex on the Black Sea coast, which he claims to be owned by Putin, received more than 85 million views in less than a week.

The Kremlin, who recently described Navalny as “a blogger of no interest,” was even forced to dodge his blow.

Putin denied that either he or his family owned the palace on Monday, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the weekend protest on Sunday.

“While many voted for Putin, few came out,” Peskov said on the state-owned Rossiya channel.



Police detained a record number of about 3,700 people in 125 cities, according to local media.


Police detained a record number of about 3,700 people in 125 cities, according to local media.
AFP / Kirill KUDRY AVTSEV

But despite the dismissal, Navalny’s up-and-coming protests are not trivial.

Opposition forces are aiming to support the dismissal of the United Russia Party, whose approval rate has declined in recent years, during parliamentary elections in September.



Protesters were ultimately at risk of punishment


Protesters were ultimately at risk of punishment
AFP / PETRAS MALUKAS

In a comment to AFP, Navalny’s right-hand man, Leonid Volkov, praised Saturday’s protest as “historic.”

Later, on social media, he announced that there would be more rallies nationwide at noon on Sunday.

Andrei Kolesnikov, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, does not expect the mood of the opposition to disappear soon.

However, he warned against the opposition’s “euphoria.”



Navalny's study of a luxury complex on the Black Sea coast, which Putin claims to own, received more than 85 million views in less than a week.


Navalny’s study of a luxury complex on the Black Sea coast, which Putin claims to own, received more than 85 million views in less than a week.
AFP / Alexander NEMENOV

“The administration has huge resources to survive, including the majority of the still indifferent population,” he wrote on Twitter.

Volkov also admitted that the fight was “difficult” and that Russian law enforcement agencies had begun to move as a result of the protest.

By Monday morning, local media reported that investigators had launched numerous criminal cases of violence against law enforcement officers after police detained a record number of about 3,700 in 125 cities.

Later on Monday, protesters received the first punishment for 10 days in custody, the TASS news agency reported.

Protesters were ultimately at risk of punishment, hoping to help Navalny escape prison time.

On February 2, a court converted his 2014 suspended sentence of 3.5 years into a sentence to skip a monthly meeting with a Russian prison while he was in Germany. We will start a hearing on whether or not it should be done.

Navalny has also been the subject of extensive fraud investigations, sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, and charged with defamation in a trial scheduled to begin on February 5.

Meanwhile, authorities are increasing pressure on the tech platform as Navalny’s team mobilizes protesters online prior to the weekend rally.

Their anger has landed on TikTok, a video sharing app that is especially popular with teens. Thousands of people shared videos there in advance in support of the protest.

On the eve of the rally, an investigative commission investigating serious crimes began investigating “encouraging participation in illegal activities that could endanger the lives of minors.”

The government’s position is that Navalny manipulated Russian youth for political purposes with the help of social media.

Dmitri Kiselev, a popular television host known for the views of the pro-Kremlin, used Sunday’s Golden Time show to tell Navalny “how many adolescents and children are among his supporters.” He accused him of creating a “promotion in”.

Under Western sanctions, Kiselov briefly states his own view of Navalny and his team: “Political Pedophilia.”



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