- Russia’s jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny urged the entire world to protest against Russia.
- “We cannot wait any longer,” he said on Wednesday as he serves a prison sentence.
- Thousands of people were detained in Russia after participating in anti-war demonstrations.
Russia’s jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny urged the global community to protest against Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.
“We cannot wait any longer,” Navalny wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “Wherever you are, in Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet, go to the main square of your city every weekday and at 2 pm on weekends and holidays.”
He urged people overseas to go to a Russian embassy to protest and organize demonstrations on weekends.
“We must, gritting our teeth and overcoming fear, come out and demand an end to the war,” he said.
Navalny’s calls come at some personal risk. He was poisoned in August 2020 with a Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, and flown to Germany for treatment. Upon his return to Moscow, he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison over parole violation claims stemming from a 2014 fraud conviction.
Authorities recently moved to extend Navalny’s sentence by 15 years.
Russians took to the streets in large protests across the country in April 2021 after Navalny’s arrest and his hunger strike, with estimates that authorities arrested more than 1,700 protestors.
In his Twitter thread, he acknowledged that his call for global demonstrations against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war comes as he sits behind bars.
“They say that someone who cannot attend a rally and does not risk being arrested for it cannot call for it,” he said. “I’m already in prison, so I think I can.”
Navalny has been one of Russia’s most vocal critics of corruption and was arrested after he publicized an investigation into a $1 billion mansion on the Black Sea he said was secrety controlled by Putin. Russian officials ordered news sites to scrub any reference to Navalny’s investigation afterwards.
Since Russia launched its attack last week, protests have erupted in cities around the world as people rally behind Ukraine’s resistance.
Anti-war demonstrations within Russia have been staged in dozens of cities across the country — including Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg.
Thousands, however, have been detained over the last few days for their participation in the protests.
Russia’s Investigative Committee warned citizens in a statement on Thursday not to take part in the “unauthorized” protests “associated with the tense foreign political situation.”
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.