Navalny calls for protests in Russia, calls Putin an ‘obviously insane tsar’

Imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny called upon Russians to protest Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on a daily basis. 

Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics, called the president an “obviously insane tsar” in a statement published to his Twitter.

“Let’s at least not become a nation of frightened silent people. Of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane tsar,” the statement said.

Navalny noted that protests from within Russia would signal to the world that not all Russians support Putin’s attacks.

We cannot wait any longer. Wherever you are, in Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet, go to the main square of your city every weekday and at 2 pm on weekends and holidays,” he added.

I am from the USSR myself. I was born there. And the main phrase from there – from my childhood – was ‘fight for peace.’ I call on everyone to take to the streets and fight for peace,” he said, noting that “Putin is not Russia.”

Everything has a price, and now, in the spring of 2022, we must pay this price. There’s no one to do it for us. Let’s not ‘be against the war.’ Let’s fight against the war,” he concluded.

Navalny was imprisoned last year after returning to Russia from Germany, where he received treatment after being poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in August 2020. Though the Kremlin has denied involvement with the incident, the U.S. and other nations have blamed Russia for Navalny’s poisoning.

The opposition leader was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after Russian authorities claimed that he violated his parole from a previous conviction by leaving Russia. Navalny’s allies have alleged that his prior conviction was politically motivated. 

Tags alexei navalny Russia-Ukraine conflict Vladimir Putin

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