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Russia Sentences Putin Foe Navalny to 19 More Years in Jail

Russia Sentences Putin Foe Navalny to 19 More Years in Jail
A handout photo made available by TASS Host Photo Agency shows Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing a plenary session during the Second Summit 'Russia-Africa' Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia, 28 July 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Donat Sorokin / Tass Host Photo Agency Handout)

A Russian court sentenced opposition leader Alexey Navalny to another 19 years in prison after convicting him of “extremism,” a decision he had earlier described as “Stalinist.” 

The closed hearing Friday held inside a strict-regime prison found President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critic guilty of charges of founding an “extremist” group and six other related counts. The judge ordered the new term also to be served in a strict-regime prison.Navalny, 47, had predicted “a huge sentence, what they call a ‘Stalinist’ sentence” in a statement on his website the day before the verdict. He said he also expected prosecutors to open a case accusing him of “terrorism” soon as well, aimed at keeping him in prison for a further 10 years.

He’s already serving a nine-year term for fraud and contempt of court that was imposed after he returned to Russia in early 2021. Navalny had received treatment in Germany for a nerve-agent poisoning in Siberia that he and Western governments blamed on the Kremlin. Russian authorities denied responsibility.

Navalny and his supporters have continued to face a relentless crackdown by the authorities since Putin ordered the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Putin, Poison and the Importance of Alexey Navalny: QuickTake

Putin is “trying to intimidate millions” by imposing harsh sentences on opposition activists, Navalny wrote to his supporters. “When the sentence is announced, please think about only one, really important thought — what else can I personally do to resist?”

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