Russian Opposition International

Russian court rejects Alexei Navalny’s sentence appeal, he blasts Putin for ‘stupid war’ in Ukraine

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a screen set up at a court room of the Moscow City Court via a video link from his prison colony during a hearing of an appeal against his nine-year prison sentence in Moscow, Russia

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a screen set up at a court room of the Moscow City Court via a video link from his prison colony during a hearing of an appeal against his nine-year prison sentence in Moscow, Russia | Photo Credit: AP

A Russian court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from opposition leader Alexei Navalny against a nine-year prison sentence he is serving for large-scale fraud and contempt of court, charges which he denies.

Navalny, by far Russia's most prominent opposition figure, was handed a nine-year jail term in March for fraud and contempt of court, on top of 2-1/2 years he is already serving. He denies all the charges against him and says they were fabricated to thwart his political ambitions.

‘Stupid war’ in Ukraine: Navalny

Navalny lambasted President Vladimir Putin during the live court hearing, casting him as a madman who had started a “stupid war” in Ukraine based on lies.

“This is a stupid war which your Putin started,” Navalny, 45, told an appeal court in Moscow via video link from a corrective penal colony. “This war was built on lies.”

Repeatedly interrupted by the judge, Navalny cast the prosecution’s “facts” as “lies”—and compared them to the lies he said Putin, Russia’s paramount leader since the last day of 1999, had used to begin the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“What do you want to achieve—do you want short-term control, to fight with future generations, fight for the future of Russia?” Navalny asked the court. “You will all suffer historic defeat.”

Putin a ‘madman’

Navalny said Putin’s Russia was run by thieves and criminals who had become enemies of the Russian people.

“One madman has got his claws into Ukraine and I do not know what he wants to do with it—this crazy thief,” Navalny said of Putin.

The Kremlin has repeatedly dismissed Navalny’s claims about Putin, who it says has won numerous fair elections in Russia since 2000 and remains by far the country’s most popular politician. It has dismissed Navalny’s claim that Putin is corrupt as nonsense.

Putin says the “special military operation” in Ukraine is necessary to demilitarise and “denazify” the country, and because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia through NATO enlargement and Moscow had to defend against the persecution of Russian-speaking people.

Ukraine and its Western allies reject these as baseless pretexts to invade a sovereign country.


Our code of editorial values

  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.

Printable version | May 24, 2022 6:27:34 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russian-court-rejects-alexei-navalnys-sentence-appeal-he-blasts-putin-for-stupid-war-in-ukraine/article65456591.ece