Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said Russian authorities hit a new lawlessness record by poisoning and then imprisoning opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
"Russian authorities hit a new lawlessness record by poisoning, then imprisoning Navalny, mass detentions of peaceful protestors in Russian cities. Clearly, Russia isn't willing to respect human rights & freedoms. Must be forced then. This is the task for [the] international community," he wrote on Twitter on February 2, 2021.
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- Navalny was arrested in Moscow on January 17 immediately upon arrival from Berlin, where he was undergoing treatment after an assassination attempt with the use of a Novichok agent. Navalny says the Kremlin is to blame.
- The opposition politician then called for protests against the authorities. On January 23, over 150,000 people took to the streets in different cities.
- Similar rallies were held on January 31. Over 4,000 protesters were reportedly detained by Russian security forces.
- On February 2, a Russian court sentenced Navalny to 32 months in a penal colony in defiance of massive public support for the Kremlin critic and international pressure to release the recent survivor of the Novichok poisoning attack.