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Alexey Navalny’s associates announce plans to ‘build up pressure on Putin’

Source: Meduza

On Monday, February 8, Alexey Navalny’s associates released a video outlining the future work of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and other projects linked to the imprisoned opposition politician.

“What will we do next?”
Leonid Volkov

Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov explained that while Navalny is a political leader and founder of various projects, he isn’t directly involved in their organizational work. The FBK and other Navalny-linked initiatives continued to operate when Navalny was under house arrest for a year, as well as when he was in a coma, Volkov recalled.

“Our plan is to build up the pressure on Putin, both from within and outside the country,” Volkov said. “Trust in us is growing and [trust] in Putin is falling.”

In terms of team Navalny’s main priorities going forward, Volkov listed further development of the “Smart Vote” initiative and the work of Navalny’s headquarters, along with organizing peaceful protests in the fall of 2021 (presumably timed around the parliamentary elections) and lobbying for sanctions against oligarchs close to Russian president Vladimir Putin. 

Alexey Navalny was arrested on January 17, immediately upon returning to Moscow from Germany, where he spent nearly five months in recovery after an attempt on his life involving a chemical nerve agent in August 2020. On February 2, a Moscow court sentenced Navalny to nearly three years in prison for committing parole violations while abroad.

On January 23 and 31, mass protests opposing Navalny’s detention took place in hundreds of cities across Russia. The authorities responded by making thousands of arrests and launching at least 50 criminal cases. Nevertheless, Moscow saw more demonstrations following Navalny’s trial on February 2.

On February 5, Leonid Volkov announced that Navalny’s team was suspending further protests until the spring. “If we go out every week, we’ll get thousands more arrested and hundreds more beaten. The campaign offices’ work will be paralyzed and it will be impossible to continue our election work. [That kind of paralysis] isn’t what Alexey is asking of us,” he said. 

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