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Top Navalny associates detained ahead of protests

Top Navalny associates detained ahead of protests
© Getty Images

A top ally and a spokeswoman of Alexei Navalny were jailed on Tuesday by Russian authorities ahead of anti-government protests planned in support of the imprisoned Russian opposition leader.

The Associated Press reported that Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh was detained by police and taken to a nearby police station after exiting her house during the one hour she is allowed under a house arrest she faces as a result of previous protests earlier this year.

One of Navalny's top political allies, Lyubov Sobol, was also taken into custody, his lawyer said on Twitter, according to the AP.

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“As usual, they think that if they isolate ‘the leaders,’ there will be no protest,” Sobol's lawyer reportedly said. “This, of course, is not the case.”

Navalny, a top critic of Russia's government and its leader Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin laughs when asked by NBC reporter if he's a 'killer' Biden and the crucible of European peace Biden should remind Erdogan of NATO's basic tenets and values MORE, has remained in prison for weeks over a violation of his probation that occurred when he left the country to seek emergency treatment for Novichok poisoning, which numerous countries have said was the work of Moscow.

He now remains behind bars on a hunger strike over his alleged inability to see the prison doctor for treatment of herniated discs.

In a Facebook post over the weekend, his physician warned that Navalny's health had seriously deteriorated and that he was at risk of dying.

President BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE has condemned the treatment of Navalny.

"It's totally, totally unfair, totally inappropriate," Biden said on Saturday. "On the basis of having been poisoned and then on a hunger strike. Wrong."

Navalny's supporters reportedly called Sunday for massive demonstrations this week against government corruption, which authorities have warned are not authorized and could result in arrests.

Hundreds were arrested in January at protests around Russia in support of Navalny's release.