Here’s What Alexei Navalny Told the Court About the Russian Invasion of Ukraine – Reports from Russian news outlet Media Zona reveal how Putin critic Alexei Navalny slammed President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, claimed that the attack was “planned by crazy old men,” and that the invasion will lead to the collapse of the country.
The comments were also reported by The Kyiv Independent.
During a court hearing at the Lefortovsky District Court of Moscow, prosecutors argued that Navalny showed contempt of court during a libel case against veteran Ignat Artemenko last year. He is also accused of fraud, relating to his collecting of funds for the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK).
The court questioned 16 people who were invited by the prosecution, four of whom were alleged victims, three experts, and nine witnesses. Among those called to the stand was former FBK employee Fedor Gorozhanko who has called the case against Navalny “absurd.”
On March 15, during the trial, Navalny offered his thoughts on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s just a group of crazy crazy grandfathers,” he said. “They don’t feel sorry for anyone or anything. And last but not least, they do not feel sorry for our country. Their homeland is Swiss accounts. And no matter how much they twist patriotism, this is a myth. And that’s a huge threat to all of us. What to do, in fact, is clear. It is the duty of every person now to fight this war. Because it is said: peacemakers will be called sons of God.”
Navalny said that the consequences of the war “will be the collapse, the disintegration of our country.”
“It sounds wild, but the phrase ‘Russian-Ukrainian war also sounds wild.” I said in this room when the process began that everyone who thinks there will be a war is crazy,” he said.
Russia Seeks 13-Year Prison Sentence for Navalny
Russian prosecutors are seeking a 13-year prison sentence for Navalny, a long-time critic of President Vladimir Putin and the president of the Progress Party. Navalny is facing charges of fraud and contempt of court, which have been widely condemned as trumped-up charges designed to silence him and prevent dissent against the Russian government.
In closing arguments on Tuesday, prosecutors asked for a sentence of 13 years in prison, as well as a fine of 1.2 million rubles ($10,700).
Navalny is already in prison serving a sentence of 2.5 years. He was imprisoned in February, 2021, upon returning from Germany to Russia after receiving urgent medical treatment for a suspected Novichok poisoning that took place in August 2020. Novichok is a nerve agent known to be used to kill critics of the Russian government. The Kremlin denied involvement in the poisoning but Western governments, including the United States and the United Kingdom, accused Vladimir Putin of signing off on the poisoning.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.