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U.S. demands Alexei Navalny’s release on anniversary of assassination attempt

The U.S. STATE DEPT. on Saturday called on Russia release a imprisoned political leader Alexei Navalny on the two-year anniversary of his attempted assassination.

Driving the news headlines: A sharp critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin, Navalny survived Russian agents try to poison him in August 2020. After recovering, he was arrested in early 2021 and sentenced to prison in what hawaii Department has said were politically motivated charges.

  • Moscow has denied involvement in Navalny’s assassination attempt.

What theyre saying: We again condemn Russias usage of a chemical weapon to poison a political opponent, and ask the Kremlin to totally declare and dismantle its chemical weapons program, said STATE DEPT. spokesman Ned Price, in a statement on Saturday. We also join Navalnys family, colleagues, and supporters all over the world in calling for his immediate release.

  • The statement concluded: “We reaffirm our solidarity with Aleksey Navalny, Vladimir Kara-Murza, along with other political prisoners in Russia, along with the a large number of other courageous Russian citizens who, despite personal risk, confront the Kremlins lies with the reality.”

Catch up fast: In March, Navalny was sentenced to nine and half years in prison following a Russian court convicted him of fraud. His selling point of the sentence was later denied.

  • The sentence compounded a youthful 2 year sentence he had been serving for violating parole after fleeing to Germany to recuperate from his assassination attempt.
  • He could be also facing more time behind bars on charges he is leading an extremist group the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which he and two others launched to expose corruption within the Kremlin.
  • Earlier this week, Navalny tweeted he has been put into solitary confinement in the Russian prison where he’s being held.

The picture as a whole: Russia’s treatment of Navalny is really a section of Moscows broader effort to get rid of political dissent and hamstring groups advocating for human rights and democratic reforms.

Go deeper: Live updates: Russian invasion of Ukraine

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