Police arrest Alexey Navalny upon arrival in Moscow. Russia’s authorities now must decide what to do with him.
The Russian authorities followed through on their threat to arrest opposition figure Alexey Navalny on Sunday, January 17, taking him into police custody after he landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Ahead of his arrival in Moscow, officials urged journalists and supporters to avoid congregating at the airport, citing coronavirus safety concerns. Before Navalny landed in Moscow with his wife, Yulia, police arrested several of his supporters and a handful of journalists. The authorities also deployed riot police to clear areas of the airport.
Navalny spent the previous five months recuperating in Germany from exposure to a nerve agent that investigative journalists say was part of an assassination attempt by Russia’s Federal Security Service. Still on parole while he was recovering in Berlin, Navalny technically violated the terms of his probation, leading federal prison officials in Russia to issue an arrest warrant in late December. The penitentiary system now wants Navalny incarcerated under a reinstated sentence in the Yves Rocher case.
The opposition figure also faces separate felony fraud charges related to money he and colleagues supposedly embezzled from his various nonprofit organizations. Navalny could go to prison in either case, depending on what the courts decide.