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  Navalny versus Putin

  13 Debates

Alexei Navalny, Russia's best-known prisoner, has been untraceable for more than two weeks - at least for his supporters, who have now even offered a reward for information about the fate of the prominent Putin critic. The authorities remain silent, prompting rumours about illness, a transfer or even a planned exchange.

A Russian court extended opposition politician Alexei Navalny's prison sentence on Friday. The 47-year-old has already been behind bars for two years and has now been sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges of extremism. Commentators shed light on the background and goals of the sentence.

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has already spent over a year in a Russian prison camp. Now a Moscow court has sentenced the well-known Putin critic to nine additional years in prison under particularly harsh conditions. Commentators criticise the judgment and call for solidarity.

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is facing new charges. He has now been charged with founding an organisation that infringes on civil rights. The application of the law, which is normally aimed at cults, could add another three years to his prison term. Earlier this year, Navalny was sentenced to several years' imprisonment that would end in 2023 on other charges.

The movement supporting jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been forced to discontinue its official activities. At the behest of a state prosecutor a court in Moscow ordered Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) to suspend its work, and the state prosecutors ordered Navalny's network of regional offices to do the same. According to a lawsuit the contents of which are largely unknown, the two organisations are to be classified as extremist and banned. Commentators are appalled, and not just in Russia.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets on Wednesday to show solidarity with the imprisoned and seriously ill opposition leader Alexei Navalny. According to Human Rights Watch, less violence was used against the demonstrators this time than during previous protests. Commentators discuss whether the Navalny protests are losing momentum.

Putin critic Alexei Navalny has gone on a hunger strike to protest the prison authorities' refusal to give him access to adequate medical treatment. His health has further deteriorated; according to his own statements and those of people around him, he now has a severe cough and fever as well as numbness in his hands and legs. Commentators see the regime critic in acute danger.

Alexei Navalny's health has apparently deteriorated rapidly since he began his prison term in Russia. He complains of acute back pain and numbness in his right leg but has received hardly any medical care. Because he has been classified as "at risk of escaping", he is woken up by prison guards once every hour at night. Observers accuse the Russian state of torture and seek to clarify the motives.

The human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) has stripped Putin critic Alexei Navalny of his non-violent 'prisoner of conscience' status following complaints about comments he had made in the past. AI was referring to discriminatory statements made by Navalny more than ten years ago against migrants and certain regions and countries which he has never retracted. Whom does Amnesty's decision hurt most?

At a meeting in Brussels the foreign ministers of EU states introduced new sanctions against Russian officials over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. In the coming weeks those deemed responsible for Navalny's imprisonment will be confronted with EU travel bans and having their assets frozen.

A Moscow court has sentenced Alexei Navalny to two years and eight months in a prison colony for violating parole from a 2014 sentence. The European Court of Human Rights had already ruled that Navalny's 2014 conviction was "arbitrary" in 2017. Europe's press sees Russia increasingly isolating itself with this verdict that was clearly politically motivated - and examines what can be done to help Navalny now.

For the second weekend in a row, tens of thousands have demonstrated in Russia against Navalny's imprisonment, corruption and the absence of the rule of law. The security forces have cracked down brutally on the demonstrations, arresting over 5,000 people across the country. While some commentators believe the protests will fizzle out, others see signs of a turning point.

"Putin's palace" is still very much a hot topic. Last week, Navalny's team released a documentary about a bombastic luxury residence on the Black Sea. After nationwide protests, Putin commented on the palace in a live broadcast with selected students. But journalists are unconvinced and make their own snide comments about his statements.