Following years of speaking out against the incumbent president Putin, Aleksey Navalny has been sentenced to 2 years 8 months for breaching parole.
The opposition politician accused Vladimir Putin and acquaintances of stealing billions and was an outspoken critic regarding Russia’s foreign policy. He was arrested January 17th upon his return from Germany following recovery from a novichok poisoning.
Navalny says he believes president Putin ordered his assassination and that his “only method is killing people.”
In August 2020, Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent which left him in a critical condition and was treated in Berlin, Germany.
Following his recovery in December 2020 he released a video of himself impersonating a Russian security officer alleging a confession from Konstantin Kudryavtsev, who national media say is a chemical weapons expert.
Navalny’s sentencing is related to a 2014 conviction for embezzlement which he says is politically motivated. The court case was for breaking parole.
At his sentencing, Navalny pointed to wife Yulia tracing his hands into a heart shape.
In a passionate speech, Navalny said: “I have deeply offended him (Putin) simply by surviving the assassination attempt that he ordered,” he said.”…“The aim of that hearing is to scare a great number of people” …“You can’t jail the entire country.”
Russia has been gripped by waves of pro-Navalny protests that have seen 5,000 people detained.