LONDON (Reuters) – More than 250 folks demanded Russian President Vladimir Putin free jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, chanting “Freedom to Navalny” exterior the Russian embassy in London on Wednesday.
Navalny has change into the chief of the disparate opposition teams which oppose Putin, a former KGB spy who has dominated Russia since 1999 when Boris Yeltsin handed him energy.
“Putin is an old fashioned demagogue but with a background in the secret service so he is very well equipped to be a tyrant,” mentioned John Taylor, a British man who joined the protest holding a white plastic bathroom brush.
The bathroom brush has change into an emblem of protest in Russia as Navalny’s video investigations alleged that Putin had opulent bathroom brushes put in in a palace. Putin has repeatedly dismissed Navalny’s claims as nonsense, as has the Kremlin.
Mostly Russian protesters exterior the embassy chanted “Free Navalny, Free Russia” in each Russian and English whereas some held an enormous image of Navalny, 44, and others a placard which learn “Today Navalny, tomorrow you”.
“We all want Alexei Navalny to be freed and to receive medical help,” Marina Litvinenko, the widow of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with a uncommon radioactive isotope, polonium-210, in 2006.
“Mr Putin – the people don’t want you.” Litvinenko advised Reuters.
Other protesters included former Russian cell phone entrepreneur, Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who fled Moscow in 2008.
“We came here to show our support for Alexei,” Chichvarkin mentioned. “He is the proper leader of the opposition and what has happened to him in Russia is completely unacceptable.”
Navalny travelled to Germany final August for therapy following a nerve agent poisoning assault he blamed on Putin. He was arrested in January when he returned to Russia and jailed for 2-1/2 years in February for parole violations he mentioned had been fabricated.
The Kremlin has mentioned it has seen no proof he was poisoned and has denied any Russian function if he was.
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