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Russian state investigators deny reports of extremism probe over Navalny interview

Media reports about the Russian Investigative Committee reviewing statements made by opposition figure Alexey Navalny for inciting extremism are untrue, the committee’s official spokesperson, Svetlana Petrenko, said on Tuesday, December 1. 

Once again, I draw the attention of the media to the fact that it is necessary to disseminate only verified reports emanating from official sources, and not refer to anonymous sources, who sometimes deliberately use false information to draw attention to individual persons.

Earlier in the day, the Russian state news agency TASS and the newswire Interfax reported, citing unnamed sources, that state investigators were probing statements Navalny made during an Ekho Moskvy interview on April 27, 2020, where he described his own program for supporting Russian citizens during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the media reports, Navalny was suspected of calling for the violent overthrow of the country’s constitutional order. 

After these reports emerged, Alexey Navalny addressed Russian President Vladimir Putin via Instagram, claiming that state investigators had launched a probe because Putin doesn’t want him to return to Russia. The opposition figure stated that he “doesn’t care” about these threats. 

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