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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Navalny was detained at the airport on his way back to Russia

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Alexei Navalny, a Russian protester who was poisoned in his home country and had gone to Germany for treatment, was arrested Sunday evening as he arrived at his country’s airport.

The plane carrying Alexei Navalny, a staunch political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was originally scheduled to land at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, but changed course at the last minute and landed at the Sheremetyevo International Airport at around 6pm, Reuters reported. He landed in Moscow.

Reporters accompanying him on a plane carrying Navalny from Berlin said the pilot initially said he was 30 minutes late due to a “technical problem”, but later said the plane was heading for Sheremetyevo and would not land at Vnukovo airport.

Navalny, who had recovered during his stay in Germany, announced his intention to return home on Wednesday.

Navalny was warned of his arrest and imprisonment before returning because he has an open case in his home country under which he was sentenced to a suspended sentence in 2014. Based on his previous conviction, the Russian protester had to report to the judiciary twice a month and was told that because he could not identify himself during his stay in Germany, he would be detained on his return.

Last December, another case was opened in Russia on charges of fraud against Navalny. The 44-year-old political opponent is accused in the case of embezzling 356 million rubles (about 3.9 million euros) in money received from the anti-corruption organization he created.

Before leaving for Berlin, Navalny had asked his friends to come and greet him. About 200 of his friends and riot police were waiting for him at Vanukova Airport on Sunday evening, and after his arrest at another airport, a number of his friends were detained by police and plainclothes forces at the airport.

Speaking to reporters, he first thanked the doctors and nurses who treated him and said that today was the best day for him in the past five months. “This is my house, I’m not afraid,” he said.

But as he entered the gate, four masked police officers asked him to accompany them. “Will you arrest me?” Navalny said to them. You have arrested me many times.

“Alexi said today that he is not afraid and I am not afraid of you and I want you not to be afraid,” his wife Yulia told Navalny’s supporters after the incident.

Russian airport officials had previously said they would not allow reporters into the hall due to Corona conditions. Navalny called Russian officials “cowardly, pathetic and ridiculous” in an Instagram message in response to the ban before taking off from Berlin.

Prior to Navalny’s arrival, more than 2,000 people had announced on Facebook that they intended to welcome him, but in response to the calls, the Russian Ministry of Justice warned citizens against participating in any unauthorized “public event.” According to media reports, a group of activists who were going to fly from Moscow to Moscow to greet Navalny were stopped by police before leaving.

On the other hand, some nationalist groups, who are Navalny’s fiercest enemies, threatened to greet him by spraying him.

Navalny has been jailed several times, and in 2018 the government barred him from running in the presidential election by referring to his conviction case.

According to some experts, Navalny’s return to Russia is a bone in the Kremlin’s throat because his release would show the government’s weakness against its rivals, and his imprisonment would risk a new scandal both at home and abroad. Will bring for the government.

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