Putin Opponent Navalny Arrested, Faces More Than 3 Years in Prison
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday in Moscow for violating probation for a 2014 fraud conviction. Why had he missed his meetings with probation officials? He was in Germany recovering from a Kremlin-linked nerve agent attack.
On Monday, a judge in the city of Khimki ordered Navalny detained for 30 days to await trial. Navalny, who was convicted of embezzling 16 million rubles’ ($500,000) worth of timber from a state firm, faces over three years in prison. The European Court of Human Rights has declared Navalny’s original conviction to have been politically motivated, and his supporters say it was to prevent him from running for president against Vladimir Putin in 2018.
Navalny, who emerged on the Russian political scene over a decade ago as a financial analyst investigating state corruption, represents the only legitimate opposition to Putin’s regime, says Chris Miller, director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program.
“In the Russian political system there is fake opposition,” Miller tells Reason. “There are four parties in the Russian parliament. Three of them are ostensibly opposition but in reality, they are controlled, to varying
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