Supporters of opposition leader Navalny are setting up a similar cell outside the Russian embassy

Supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny placed a replica of the small “punishment cell” he has been repeatedly locked in outside the Russian embassy in Berlin on Tuesday, in a bid to raise awareness of his fate.

About 100 people – including Navalny’s brother Oleg – attended the demonstration on the German capital’s famous Unter den Linden street, some carrying banners calling for the release of all political prisoners in Russia, and others prosecuting Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine. .

“There is a connection between what happened to Alexei Navalny and the war in Ukraine,” said organizer Leonid Volkov, who heads the anti-corruption organization Navalny founded more than a decade ago.

Volkov said Navalny’s poisoning in 2020 and his subsequent imprisonment upon his return from Germany — he is now serving a nine-year prison sentence for fraud — were part of the Kremlin’s crackdown on the Russian opposition before launching the attack on Ukraine.

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Supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny set up a similar cell outside the Russian embassy on Tuesday.

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He said Navalny repeatedly spoke out against the war during his court appearances. “Every time he does, he will be punished,” he added.

Russian authorities remain sensitive to outside pressure, Volkov said, such as when hundreds of doctors petitioned Navalny for medical treatment recently.

“There may be indications that they are already listening in the Kremlin,” he said. “Not because they are good people – they are not – not because they are humane, but because they are weak.”

Volkov indicated that Putin may seek to use Navalny in possible future peace talks.

“He knows that at some point he’s going to have to enter negotiations and then, well, many options will be on the table,” he said.

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