Navalny says he feels ‘pride and hope’ over protests against his detention

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Thursday he feels “pride and hope” over a swarm of protests against his detention.

Navalny in an Instagram post touted demonstrators as Russia’s “salvation” as protests seeking to free the leader of the opposition movement to President Vladimir Putin escalate.

“People are marching in the street. It means they know and understand everything,” said Navalny. “They won’t give up their future, the future of their children, their country. Yes, it will be difficult and dark for some time. But those pulling Russia back historically are doomed. There are more of us in any case.”

The comments marked some of Navalny’s first on the protests, which have ramped up in recent days and drawn increasingly harsh crackdowns from Russian police.

More than 1,900 people were arrested Wednesday in one of the largest roundups of protesters since demonstrations started against Navalny’s detention earlier this year, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors protests and detentions. 

Navalny was detained in January after he returned from Germany where he was recovering from being poisoned in August. The opposition leader has blamed Moscow for the incident, but the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

International concern over Navalny has grown as he wages a hunger strike in prison, with his doctor warning that he was nearing death. Authorities announced Monday that Navalny will be transferred to a hospital in another prison, three weeks after he started the hunger strike.

Tags alexei navalny Opposition to Vladimir Putin in Russia Russia Russian opposition Russian protests Vladimir Putin
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