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Russia’s Navalny expects ‘Stalinist’ sentence of 18 more years behind bars

Russia’s Navalny expects ‘Stalinist’ sentence of 18 more years behind bars
Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via a video link from his penal colony during a hearing about his right to correspond while in jail, at the Russian Supreme court in Moscow, Russia, 22 June 2023. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation recognized as lawful the internal regulations of correctional institutions on the issuance of writing materials to persons held in punishment cells. Navalny has been in the colony since February 2021, when the court, at the request of the Federal Penitentiary Service, replaced his suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case of 2014 with a real one. He was supposed to serve in a penal colony for 2 years and 8 months, but in March 2022, the Lefortovo Court of Moscow, at an off-site meeting in correctional colony-2 in the city of Pokrov, Vladimir Region, sentenced the politician to 9 years of strict regime and a fine of 1.2 million rub., as well as one and a half years of restriction of freedom in the case of fraud and contempt of court. In June 2022, the sentence entered into force. EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY

Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny said on Thursday he expected to be handed a "Stalinist" sentence extending his existing prison term by about 18 more years.

Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest domestic critic, made the prediction on the eve of a court hearing at which verdicts will be delivered on a battery of new charges against him related to alleged extremist activity.

“It’s going to be a long sentence. What is called ‘Stalinist’,” said Navalny, 47, who is able to post on social media via his supporters and lawyers.

Prosecutors have requested an extra 20 years on the basis of the new charges. Navalny said the severity of the sentence was intended to stun and intimidate Russians, but he urged them not to submit.

“When the sentence is announced, please think about only one, really important thing — what else can I personally do to resist? To stop the villains and thieves in the Kremlin from destroying my country and my future? What can I do, weighing all the risks and taking into account all the circumstances?” he said in his message to supporters.

Navalny is already serving sentences totalling 11-1/2 years on fraud and other charges which he says are bogus, and his political movement has been outlawed and declared “extremist”.

The Kremlin, which makes a point of never speaking Navalny’s name, denies persecuting him and has said it is not even following the case.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Alexander Marrow and Mark TrevelyanEditing by Gareth Jones)

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  • Alan Cargill says:

    Just too sad for words. Will nobody be able to stop Putin? Will the majority of Russians never waken up and see what is being done in their name? How many sons must they lose?

    Putin was always quick to join in, do a spot of bareback horse riding, some judo, a quick ice hockey game where he could outshine professional players.
    How about giving him a Kalashnikov and letting him join in the fun on the front?

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