Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s wife told his supporters on Wednesday they might still triumph despite his jailing and thanked them for protesting during a case she said had made her life a stream of police stations, home searches, and court hearings.
A court on Tuesday sentenced Navalny, a prominent opponent of Putin, to 3 and a half years for parole violations he said were trumped up to sideline him, ignoring calls from the West and protesters reception to release him.
Navalny’s supporters gathered to point out support during the ruling and protested afterward, prompting authorities to pack up some metro stations in Moscow and detain quite 1,400 people, consistent with a protest monitor.
Most of Navalny’s prominent allies are under confinement or in custody. a number of his supporters have suggested his wife Yulia Navalnaya take up his mantle as in Belarus last summer where Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was thrust to the fore of national politics after her husband was jailed.
“I don’t know what to entertain you with here. My life recently is police stations, courts, and searches,” Yulia Navalnaya wrote during a post on Instagram.
“I’m reading all of your messages and understand that numerous good, strong, and decent people support Alexei and me that we shouldn’t concede and be afraid. We’ll win anyway.”
“A huge many thanks to all or any of you for beginning (to the streets), for writing and asking how I’m. I’m okay.”
Navalny’s allies accuse the police of essentially outlawing public protest and of using disproportionate force and violence to interrupt up rallies and stifle their campaigning.
On Wednesday, a court jailed Sergei Smirnov, editor-in-chief of independent outlet Mediazona that has covered the protests intimately, for 25 days after finding him guilty of repeatedly flouting protest legislation.
State investigators also charged Navalny’s brother Oleg, an activist and a member of the Pussy Riot punk group with breaching COVID-19 regulations over a protest on Jan. 23, the RIA press agency reported.
The Kremlin said the police’s response at Tuesday evening’s protests had been justified because the protests were illegal and unauthorized. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Navalny’s allies of deliberately provoking the police by calling protests near the Kremlin following the ruling.
“The police reaction was thanks to the threats that would have arisen from staging such a protest,” he told reporters on a call. “The provocations comprise of the very fact that there have been calls yesterday for unsanctioned protests.”
Navalny’s allies have circulated footage of scenes they assert show police violence, including one clip during which a riot policeman strikes a cameraman with a truncheon, flooring him. Slideshow ( 3 images )
Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said the incident was the topic of an indoor investigation.
The West has called on Moscow to release Navalny, but Russia has told it stays out of its sovereign affairs.
“The hysteria we’ve heard over the legal process for the Navalny case is in fact of the size,” secretary of state Sergei Lavrov said.
The mood on the snowy streets of Moscow was mixed.
“I’m not much excited by either our authorities’ actions or those of Navalny,” said Maxim, who didn’t provide a surname.
“People are tired, people aren’t fools… as for the police actions, they really are animals. things are indirectly repeating the Belarus scenario,” said Danila, 25.