Ukraine-Russia: Alexei Navalny calls for action against ‘deceitful’ Vladimir Putin regime after nine-year prison sentence

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The Russian opposition leader, one of Mr Putin’s most vocal critics, was convicted of fraud and contempt of court.

Following the conviction, tweets were posted on Navalny’s Twitter account calling for action against the “war criminals” of Mr Putin’s regime.

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Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny. Picture: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

Navalny, who was previously the victim of a nerve agent poisoning, is founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

His website says he has already been in prison for 428 days.

Tweets posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday said: “As I said in my ‘last word’, we are not just continuing the operations of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, we are going to take them to a new level.

“The ACF will become a global international organization. And we really need you in it.”

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via a video link during the verdict in his embezzlement and contempt of court trial at the IK-2 prison colony in the town of Pokrov in Vladimir Region. Picture: AFP via Getty Images

He said the money given to him by the European Parliament as part of the Sakharov Prize would be the first contribution to the fund.

“EU citizens, via their representatives, gave me this award for the fight against corruption. I am grateful and I’m allocating their money to continue this fight,” he said.

Navalny said on his Twitter account that Mr Putin was “afraid of the truth”, adding: “Fighting against censorship and bringing the truth to the people of Russia has remained our priority.

“The Kremlin smashes the media and in response we create new ones.”

The Twitter thread added: “I am very grateful to everyone for their support. And, guys, I want to say – the best support for me and other political prisoners is not sympathy and kind words, but actions.

“Any activity against the deceitful and thievish Putin’s regime. Any opposition to these war criminals.

“In 2013, after hearing my first verdict, I wrote this and now I will repeat it: don’t be idle. This toad sitting on an oil pipe will not overthrow itself.

“I hug and love everyone!”

Navalny also tweeted: “9 years. Well, as the characters of my favorite TV series ‘The Wire’ used to say: ‘You only do two days. That’s the day you go in and the day you come out’.

“I even had a T-shirt with this slogan, but the prison authorities confiscated it, considering the print extremist.”

Navalny has been accused of embezzling money that he and his foundation raised, as well as insulting a judge during a previous trial, allegations he rejects.

Downing Street said the prison term handed to Navalny was the continuation of “trumped up charges that Putin uses against those that seek to hold him to account”.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with Alexei Navalny and his family as he continues to show incredible bravery in standing up to the Putin regime.”

It comes as justice secretary Dominic Raab said Mr Putin’s regime was “responsible for an illegal invasion, there is strong evidence of war crimes and we believe that those responsible must be held to account”.

Speaking about Russia’s actions in Ukraine during Commons justice questions, Mr Raab warned “there will not be a peaceful settlement to this”.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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