On Sunday, Vladimir Putin’s administration condemned the US embassy in Moscow’s calls for protests in Russia, denouncing Washington’s “interference” in Russia’s internal affairs, the Associated Press reported.
More than 3,500 people were arrested on Saturday during protests in Russia against the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. During the protests, Rebecca Ross, spokeswoman for the US embassy in Moscow, sent the following message: “The United States supports everyone’s right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression. The measures taken by the Russian authorities restrict these rights.” The US embassy also issued a statement to the State of State demanding the release of Alexei Navalny.
But the Russian presidency condemned the position of the US embassy. “These comments indirectly interfere in our internal affairs,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “They are direct support for the violation of law in the Russian Federation, and support for unauthorized actions.”
The Russian official considers the protests in Russia “insignificant.” “A lot of people say that there are many participants in these illegal actions. No, very few protested. Many are voting with Vladimir Putin,” Peskov said.
Tens of thousands took part in protests on Saturday in several Russian cities. In Moscow, there were about 15,000 protesters.
Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was arrested a week ago, upon his return to Russia after receiving treatment in Germany following a neurotoxin attack in August 2020. A court ruled that Alexei Navalny would be detained for 30 days. The Russian Prison Service reported that Alexei Navalny had violated the terms of the suspended sentence. Navalny was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for theft, a 2014 case that the defector considers politically motivated. The deadline for the judicial review expired on December 30, 2020, and Navalny was supposed to be in the courtroom. In addition, the Russian Investigation Commission recently announced that Alexei Navalny is under investigation for “widespread fraud”. The leader of the Russian opposition is suspected of using funds raised for civic organizations he leads for personal purposes, with the alleged fraud amounting to 356 million rubles (3.9 million euros). Alexei Navalny leads several human rights and anti-corruption NGOs.
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