In Russia, Alexei Navalny, prominent critic of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, is being threatened with imprisonment or even another assassination attempt. Nevertheless, he is now leaving Germany, which is safe for him. The opposition member has big plans for his political struggle in Moscow.
Moscow (dpa) – Hours before the departure of the Kremlin’s opponent Alexej Navalny from Berlin, Russian authorities tightened security requirements at Moscow’s Vnukowo airport.
The 44-year-old would end up there after five months of treatment in Germany for an assassination attempt with the neurotoxin Novitschok. The plane of the Russian airline Pobeda is scheduled to arrive at 5:20 PM CET (7:20 PM local time). Numerous supporters of the opposition leader reported “preemptive arrests”. Social networks showed how the armed forces of the anti-terror police Omon took a stand the night before with prisoner transport at the airport.
The authorities had previously warned of unauthorized demonstrations and imminent consequences. The most prominent critic of the head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, had called on his supporters to meet him in Moscow. He is also threatened with arrest for alleged probation violation in previous criminal proceedings.
In St. Petersburg, Irina Fatyanova, the Chief of Navalny’s staff, reported that she and two other activists had been taken from the train to Moscow and detained by police for three hours without explanation. Other activists said they were being held at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg or stopped in vehicles on the street.
Many journalists complained that the airport management in Vnukowo banned access to the airport due to the corona pandemic and did not issue a work permit. The Internet channel Doschd, which criticizes the Kremlin, reported widespread closures. According to the broadcaster, Navalny is accompanied on the plane by reporters and activists.
Navalny supporter Maxim Predetschensky told Doschd he bought a ticket because he supported Navalny in his fight for freedom in Russia. The flight could be a “historical event”. He admired Navalny’s courage. “He is working to ensure that Russians’ right to freedom of expression is protected.”
On August 20, an attack on Navalny in the Siberian city of Tomsk was carried out with the help of the agent Novichok. The Kremlin’s opponent blames Putin and the FSB’s internal intelligence service for the murder. The Kremlin chief dismisses the allegations.
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