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Poisoning His Underwear

The arrest and punishment of Alexei Navalny, the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin, has caused major uproar in Kremlin.

By Syed Zain Abbas Rizvi | February 2021

arrest punishment Alexei Navalny

The fuming tensions in Russia post the arrest of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist, have entered a catatonic phase as the Moscow court recently sentenced Navalny to a 2.5-year prison in reference to a suspended verdict in 2014. Despite the suspected nature of the outcome of the court proceedings, a new tremor of protests in support of Navalny is expected to surge the already alarming situation in Russia.

Since the entire trial has been realized as a well-thought-of schema to bring down the loudest Kremlin critic of the decade, the decision is hardly expected to be well received amidst the blooming supporters turning aggressive day by day.

Alexie Navalny is a widely acclaimed blogger and a political activist running campaigns against the Putin regime. Navalny has been the prime political rival to Vladimir Putin for a long span of time: a decade-long period of leading processions over alleged rigging claims to exposing corruption and embezzlement in government records. His most famous campaign launched in 2019 when massive waves of protests sparked over the elections being engineered in support of Putin.

Navalny has also brought use to his colossal following online; his exposé video depicting the luxurious Palace as the property of Putin resulting from high-end corruption scandals, has gained more than a 100 million views. The sheer drive of Navalny to dethrone Putin has accumulated support over the last few years primarily due to the relentless yet failed attempts of the Russian regime to detain him despite his acquittal in 2014.

Navalny inspired the contemporary opposition against Putin, his words putting direction to his supporters: “He [Putin] can pretend to be a great politician but he will go down in history as a prisoner”. In line with this vision, Putin has been popularly been known as ‘fearing’ the advancing opposition. Navalny was allegedly poisoned last year, whilst he returned from an investigation in Siberia.

Navalny accused the Putin-led Russian of being specific for deploying state intelligence agencies to exterminate him by ‘Poisoning his underwear’. However, whilst his accusations were repeatedly met with denial and subsequent warnings from the Kremlin, his imminent visit was being awaited. After spending 5 months recovering in Berlin, Navalny finally returned to Moscow late in January to ‘Lead the opposition from the roads of Russia’. However, Navalny was detained from the Moscow airport leaving his supporters under frustration and outrage.

Over the past few weeks, protests have poured all over Russia; mounds of supporters arching the motto ‘No Fear’. Even Navalny pressed on in his trail during his court proceeding; claiming this exercise as a political ruse to underwhelm him and his supporters. In spite of multiple warnings from the Russian authorities, protestors in copious groups have gripped hold of the streets of Moscow with more than 5600 arrested, including top journalists and members of Navalny’s group.

Now with the prison sentence of Navalny and aggressive response of the Russian government, an implosive response of the protesters is on the cards, but also the Newly-elect US government may cause foreign policy problems as could be gauged from the recent statement of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken: “The U.S. condemns the persistent use of harsh tactics against peaceful protesters and journalists by Russian authorities for a second week straight. We renew our call for Russia to release those detained for exercising their human rights, including Aleksey Navalny”.