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EU, US Demand Immidiate Release Of Vladmir Putin Opposition Critic, Alexei Navalny

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The United States and the European Union have demanded the release of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny from detention.


Navalny, 44, a thorn in Putin’s flesh for the last decade, was detained soon after his flight from Germany landed in Moscow on Sunday.

Navalny has been a huge critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s, with the international community concerned over his safety in the country.


After his poisoning with military-grade Novichok in August, a joint investigation by CNN and the group Bellingcat implicated the Russian Security Service (FSB) in the poisoning, as the investigation showed  how an elite unit at the secret agency followed Navalny’s team throughout a trip to Siberia, where Navalny was poisoned and fell ill on a flight to Moscow

The investigation also found that this unit, which included chemical weapons experts, had followed Navalny on more than 30 trips to and from Moscow since 2017.


Russia completely denies involvement in Navalny’s poisoning despite the fact that Russia is the only country that still products and posseses Novichok, a military grade nerve agent that paralyzes and ultimately kills a person that ingests it.

 Putin said in December that if Russian security services had wanted to kill Navalny, they “would have finished” the job.

Navalny, an outspoken fearless blogger,  has millions of Russian followers on social media and managed to get some supporters elected to local councils in Siberia in 2020.


He attempted to stand in the 2018 presidential race, but was barred because of an embezzlement conviction that he says was politically motivated


Russia’s prison service said the Kremlin critic had violated the terms of his suspended sentence for embezzlement, and that he would remain in custody until a court ruling.


A court hearing was organised on Monday, January 18, at a police station on the outskirts of Moscow. In a video released by his spokeswoman, Navalny described the hearing as “lawlessness of the highest grade”.


The US and European Union led calls for Mr Navalny to be freed, but stopped short of threatening any punitive action.


US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said Russian authorities were trying to silence their critics, while incoming US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan said 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”.


France, Italy, Germany and the president of the European Commission were also among those calling for his release.


UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described Mr Navalny’s arrest as “appalling”.


“Rather than persecuting Mr Navalny, Russia should explain how a chemical weapon came to be used on Russian soil,” he said.


Russia’s foreign minister dismissed condemnation of the arrest.


Sergei Lavrov said Western politicians were using the case to “divert attention” from domestic problems.


After recovering from treatment, Navalny said he intended to return to Russia.


 On Sunday January 17, he returned home despite warnings he would face arrest on landing.

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