Russia

Putin Foe Navalny Sentenced to Nearly Three Years in Prison

The Russian opposition leader will be sent to a penal colony for failing to meet with probation officers while he was comatose due to poisoning.

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From within a glass enclosure, Russian political dissident Alexei Navalny smiled and made heart gestures to his wife not long before a judge on Tuesday sentenced him to two years and eight months in a penal colony.

Navalny was arrested in a Moscow airport on January 17 after returning from Germany, where he had been recovering since the summer from a poison attack linked to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Because of his time abroad, officials say that Navalny was in violation of his probation for a 2014 fraud conviction, which supporters claim was orchestrated to prevent him from running for office. 

In court, Navalny argued that because he had arrived in Germany while comatose and was only there for the duration of his rehabilitation, he did not violate the conditions of his parole. 

"I contacted my lawyer to send you a notice," he said. "You had the address, my contact details. What else could I have done to inform you?"

The judge disagreed and ordered him to serve two years and eight months in prison, deducting time he had already served under house arrest from his original sentence of three and a half years. 

Today, Navalny was again hauled before a judge, this time for allegedly libeling a World War II veteran who took part in a video supporting a reform that would allow President Vladimir Putin to serve two more terms in office. Navalny had previously described the participants in the video as traitors. 

Navalny began his political career in 2008 investigating government corruption. His videos, which have gotten millions of views, often target Russia's wealthiest and most powerful figures. Navalny's most recent video accused Putin of building a lavish Black Sea palace for himself with taxpayer funds. Putin denied owning the property. Billionaire real estate developer and Putin's childhood friend Arkady Rotenberg has claimed ownership of the massive building.

Protests erupted throughout Russia in the weeks following Navalny's arrest, with over 11,000 people being detained nationwide. A video from a protest in St. Petersburg last Sunday shows numerous instances of police beating demonstrators before arresting them. Some protesters reported being held in cramped conditions for days without access to food, water, or bathroom facilities. Navalny supporters have temporarily called off further protests.

The United States has been adamant in its denunciation of the Kremlin's actions. Speaking on Thursday during his first visit to the State Department, President Joe Biden called for the immediate release of Navalny and his supporters. 

"The politically motivated jailing of Alexei Navalny and the Russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are a matter of deep concern to us and the international community," Biden said.

Today, Russia announced it would expel diplomats from Germany, Poland, and Sweden for allegedly taking part in illegal protests. In a released statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it would revoke the credentials of three foreign officials, ordering them to leave the country as soon as possible. The move drew castigation from leaders of all three countries, who labeled the measure as unjustified.

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  1. The United States has indicted a man, who now faces 10 years in federal prison, for posting memes.

    Any thoughts, Reason?

    1. Post link.

      1. We’ve already played this game you dishonest lefty piece of shit. Kill yourself.

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        2. Yup. No link = did not happen.

          1. Your reckoning is on the way, lefty shitbag. The totalitarians you shill for today are going to have a lot of fun with you tomorrow.

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            1. People who can be convinced by a meme that they can text in their votes probably shouldn’t be voting anyway.

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      2. Fuck off, fascism’s mouthpiece.

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    6. haha. So the resident klavern dweller in the comments section turns out to be a Putin troll.

  2. Coming soon to a country near you.

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    2. People aren’t protesting in support of Navalny. They are protesting for change, just about any change from Putin. In Russia, it’s impossible to change leaders because just trying to get on the ballot if you’re not in one of the approved parties is almost impossible whereas here in America…Oh, wait, never mind.

  3. Bill Weld has an even harsher sentence planned for Trump.

    1. America needs a new Thomas Jefferson really badly right now.

      In it’s entire history has it ever had a worse political class?

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  4. AOC is using this as a training manual.

    1. Her manual has pictures that pop up when you turn the page.

  5. ‘”The politically motivated jailing of Alexei Navalny and the Russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are a matter of deep concern to us and the international community,” Biden said.’

    I’m curious what Putin has to say about American efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

    1. Yeah… that quote just smacks of irony.

  6. Many Americans are being held without bail for being at the capitol.

    No writeup here on that one.

    1. No country for seditionists ….

      1. Lol

    2. Racists and white supremacists aren’t subject to presumption of innocence or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because racism is worse than murder.

      How do we know they’re racists and white supremacists you ask? Because despite a long and illustrious history of racism and white supremacism, the Democratic Party is anti-racist and anti-white supremacist.
      Thus it follows that if you oppose the policies of the Democratic Party, you are a horder and wrecker racist and white supremacist.

    3. Sullum can’t type that quickly one-handed.

  7. Russia can have freedom but it doesn’t want it. Why? Because they want government tyranny – just over ‘the other guy’. And yes that includes Navalny.

    The same is true for the USA. Fortunately we’re starting from a pretty good place, so we only need a handful of true freedom lovers (like Reason) to defend our position. But it’s easy enough to forfeit our lead.

    Eventually people will accept that the only viable compromise is for everyone to agree to a common set of rules/laws. Then we can drastically reduce the size of government because we don’t need it to oppress ‘the other guy’.

    1. “we only need a handful of true freedom lovers (like Reason)”

      Cripes! We’re fucked.

  8. Isn’t that what the Democrats are trying to do to Trump?

    1. But Navalny didn’t send mean tweets, so jailing him is an outrage.

  9. While reading the article it is tempting to substitute the name “Putin” for “Biden”. The article still eerily rings true to the essence of the nation under Biden’s Presidency.

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  11. Navalny actually social engineered the FSB agents that poisoned him, getting at least one to admit on the phone exactly how they pulled it off. It was pretty amazing.

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  12. Sounds like Navalny was accepting money from foreign agents to subvert Russian sovereignty. Not being Russian and being somewhat aware of American foreign ventures, Navalny being a western puppet is completely plausible.

    Putin is not popular among the elites of his country, but the common people love him. People probably saw some huge similarities between Trump and Putin which is why people called Trump Putin’s stooge.

    That could never be, and both men knew it, because to some extent, America’s and Russia’s success and failure depends on the other’s failure and success. That puts true nationalists at odds. And Trump acted in accord, as did Putin. The best that can be said is that the relationship had mutual respect and predictability. This gave more stability to the relationship between Russia and America.

    There’s a libertarian principle that can be applied to nations – non aggression and letting them live as they wish. But the elitists in the west want the same thing for us as they want for Russia – global cooperation under a global central government. The common people of both countries do not want that. And Navalny acting on those interests as a political actor makes him an enemy to the sovereignty of Russia.

    1. If Putin suspects that Trump’s removal from office was orchestrated by global elites and not the will of the American people through our elections, Putin is going to be on alert for similar actions in his own country. Being forewarned by what happened here and our possessing a weak, public head of state, and divided constituency, and a government that appears to rule without support from roughly half the nation (if not more), I would not be surprised if repeated actions by western power players causes Putin to use other means to protect his sovereignty. He knows he’s at war with a hidden enemy even if we had no idea.

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