Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Source: Axios | January 17, 2021 | Dave Lawler

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

– Vnukovo airport — where Navalny was scheduled to land and a group of supporters had gathered — was closed to arriving aircraft shortly before his flight was set to land.

– He landed instead at Sheremetyevo airport, speaking briefly with reporters before walking on to passport control, where several officers were waiting for him.

What they’re saying: Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden’s incoming National Security adviser, denounced what he called “the Kremlin’s attacks on Mr. Navalny” as “a violation of human rights” and “an affront to the Russian people who want their voices heard.”


On the scene: A large police presence awaited Navalny at Vnukovo airport, and several of his aides and supporters were arrested prior to his arrival.

– The airport was reportedly cleared of all non-passengers, with riot police also on hand.

– Those steps, in addition to the last-minute change in the arrival airport, undercut the Kremlin narrative that Navalny is a figure of little concern.

The backstory: Navalny made his name as a video blogger and anti-corruption activist. He has organized some of the largest protests against Putin, who refuses to refer to him by name.

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  •  Consistent #46557

     Consistent #46558

     Consistent #46559

     EVERYDAY #46561

    Trump disrespected our allies, then cozied up to the likes of Putin and Kim, telling us we had nothing to fear. We had been told even before then that Communism is dead and Russia is a republic just like the US.

    Well, I don’t know that any republic like ours imprisons dissenters and/or tries to kill them with poison. Mr. Navalny is indeed brave for returning home after having been poisoned by Putin and knowing he would be arrested. I fear though that this time he will not be so lucky to survive. Perhaps in knowing this he will, by his own death, put a lie to the notion that Russia is a free republic and our friend.

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