Opponent Alexei Navalny will return to Russia on January 17

MOSCOW: Lopponent Russian Alexei Navalny, in convalescence in Germany after suffering from suspected poisoning in August, announced on Wednesday that he would return on Sunday in Russia, in despite a threat of imprisonment.

“Come in Germany, it was not my choice (…) I ended up here because they tried to kill me, ”said in a video posted on his Instagram page lopponent 44, announcing that he had bought a plane ticket to Moscow.

Corruption slayer and sworn enemy of the Kremlin, Mr. Navalny had made a faint in August as he returned from an election tour. His plane had made an emergency landing in Omsk in Siberia, where he was hospitalized 48 hours before being evacuated, in a coma, around l‘Germany.

Lopponent in was released in early September and three European laboratories concluded that it was poisoned by a Novitchok-type nerve agent, designed to lSoviet era: a conclusion confirmed by l‘Organization for lban on chemical weapons (OPCW), despite denials from Moscow.

The relatives of Mr. Navalny assure that it will happen Sunday at lMuscovite airport of Vnukovo at 7:20 p.m. (4:20 p.m. GMT) aboard a plane of the Pobeda company. “Come welcome me,” he said in his video, adding that he was “practically cured”.

For Alexei Navalny, the Russian security services (FSB) sought to l‘murder on ldirect order from Vladimir Putin. And he is convinced that the Russian president does not want in no case see him return in Russia.

Threat of prison

“They’re doing everything to scare me and all that’s left for Putin is to put up a sign over the Kremlin that says’Alexei, please don’t come in in no case, ”” he said.

This week, the justice system recorded a complaint requesting the conversion of a suspended prison sentence targeting him in closed prison.

The person responsible for the complaint is said to be the Russian Prison Service (FSIN), which accused in December M. Navalny not to respect the terms of his stay in not having returned quickly from Germany after being discharged from hospital.

At the end of December, an investigation for fraud was also opened, lopponent being suspected of having spent 356 million rubles (3.9 million euros at the current rate) for personal use on donations.

“The situation in Regarding Navalny looks like two speeding trains l‘a worm l‘each other and will inevitably collide,’ wrote on social network Telegram lanalyst Tatiana Stanovaya: “There are going to be a lot of victims”.

Another analyst, Abbas Galliamov, believes that lopponent chose his return date badly: “If he is arrested now (and he certainly will be), the wave of indignation associated with this event will surely have dissipated” by the legislative elections next autumn.

Lpoisoning of Mr. Navalny caused a new diplomatic pass between Moscow and the Western countries, lThe European Union having in particular banned several Russian officials, including FSB chief Alexandre Bortnikov.

In reprisals, Moscow took similar measures against several representatives of l‘EU.

During its annual press conference in December, Vladimir Putin claimed that if the Kremlin had really wanted to poison Alexei Navalny, «l‘case would have been completed’.

Corruption whistleblower

Widely ignored by national media, not represented in Parliament and ineligible, Alexei Navalny remains the main voice of l‘opposition in part thanks to its YouTube channel with 4.8 million subscribers.

His videos denouncing the corruption of the elites accumulate millions of views each time. As a result, the offices of his organization are regularly searched and he and his allies are increasing the number of short stays. in prison.

The Russia refuse in revenge to investigate his poisoning, arguing the refusal to l‘Germany to send him the data in its possession. According to the versions, Moscow has denied any poisoning, accused the Western secret services or put in cause l‘lifestyle ofAlexei Navalny.

In mid-December, the British investigative website Bellingcat published an investigation claiming to identify eight FSB agents implicated in a lopponent For years.

A few days later, Mr. Navalny meanwhile assured to have trapped l‘one of these agents on the phone, making him admit that he had participated in his poisoning. The FSB denounced a “forgery”.

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