(LibertySociety.com) – On January 17, Alexei Navalny flew back to Moscow after recovering from an assassination attempt. Upon his arrival, he was immediately arrested and sentenced to more than two years in prison on Tuesday, February 2. The Russian government cracked down this week after people took to the streets to call for Navalny’s release.
The Kremlin reportedly ordered the arrests of thousands of protesters calling on the government to free the opposition leader. Navalny sent a message to his supporters on Thursday, thanking them for their support and saying they need to “free” Russia from a “bunch of thieves.” Video of the protests reportedly shows police beating people.
Ominous footage from Moscow #Russia tonight of Police beating and detaining protestors.
Tonight’s spontaneous protests come hours after Navalny’s jail sentence. Thousands have been detained in last 2 weeks: pic.twitter.com/IGkqWfDYT8
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) February 2, 2021
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Russia’s imprisonment of Navalny.
The United States is deeply concerned by Russia’s actions toward Aleksey Navalny. We reiterate our call for his immediate and unconditional release as well as the release of all those wrongfully detained for exercising their rights.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 2, 2021
World leaders, including President Joe Biden, are calling on Vladimir Putin to release Navalny. The US is also reportedly reviewing other Russia-related issues, leading to concerns about tensions between the two countries. Former President Donald Trump was tough on the ex-Soviet nation, but he managed to keep the two countries out of conflict. It’s starting to look like that might all change.
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