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Russia: What’s The Situation Of The Main Politician Opposition In The Country?

Poisoned, arrested, and tortured at the prison. Alexei Navalny affirmed that he was a victim of all these charges. Nowadays, he is the most prominent critic of the Russian government, which is in Vladimir Putin's hands since 1999, who can extend his powers until 2036 with the changes made by himself at the Constitution in 2020. But what happened with Navalny for him to get into this dramatic situation?

Alexei Anatolievitch Navalny is an attorney who graduated from the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. He got himself famous as a notorious and leading Russian politician opposition when his Youtube videos and posts in his blog had increased, thanks to the power of social media. To be more specific, his Youtube channel has 6.51 million followers, and its videos also reach millions of views. Contemplated by his admirers as charismatic and fearless, Navalny is considered by lots the most dangerous opposition faced by Putin right now, because of his job exposing the corruption of the current political system. However, the situation got critical when he was poisoned in August of last year. 

During a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, Alexei felt ill and forced an emergency landing at Omsk, a city from Siberia. People on the same flight filmed his agony in the shape of screams of pain and soon the rumors of poisoning plot by Putin's forces were spread on the media. At that time, Kira Yamich was his spokeswoman and declared that "...his illness doesn't have no natural causes". Later, the expertise confirmed poisoning by "Novichok", a highly toxic nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union in 1970. Navalny was transferred to Germany to get his treatment fighting against the coma, while thousands of people were protesting because of the suspect of the former president involved in the crime. The ambassador of Russia in Britain Andrei Kelin said in an interview to BBC News that "His (Alexei Navalny's) purpose for all this situation was to attract distraction".

However, Navalny didn't come back to Russia peacefully. On January 17th, he was immediately arrested by police because the authorities understood that he violated his conditional from a previous sentence in 2014 for fraud, and in response, he was condemned for 2 years and 8 months. In prison, he told his lawyers and family that he was being tortured at his cell, woken up 8 times per day, and badly medically treated. On 31th of March, Navalny started a hunger protest to get better conditions in jail, and his attorney said that in three weeks of this political strike he lost 20 pounds. The police authorities said that they were offering appropriate care and his daughter wrote on social media "Allow a doctor to see my dad".

On the 23rd of April, the critical declared that he was going to start eating again, but slowly, because he had been properly medically checked.  To finish, the International Amnesty classified Alexey Navalny as a "Prisoner of Conscience" and published a note saying "Alexei Navalny has not been imprisoned for any recognizable crime, but for demanding the right to equal participation in public life for himself and his supporters, and for demanding a government that is free from corruption.", followed by chief states from all over the world. 


The article above was edited by Carolina Rodrigues.

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Hello, world. Journalism student here. Passionate about reading, writing, and telling other people's stories.
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