News of the Day: 17 January 2021

Amnesty International: Russian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release prominent Kremlin critic, Aleksei Navalny, detained minutes after he arrived at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport from Berlin, Amnesty International said today. Navalny had been recovering in the German capital after being poisoned in Siberia in August. “Aleksei Navalny’s arrest is further evidence that Russian authorities are seeking to silence him. His detention only highlights the need to investigate his allegations that he was poisoned by state agents acting on orders from the highest levels,” said Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director.

The Guardian: The Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport shortly after returning from treatment abroad for a suspected poisoning attempt on his life by Russia’s FSB spy agency. Navalny, whose investigations into corruption in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle have sparked protests and angered the country’s most powerful men, had vowed to return home despite signs the Kremlin was preparing to arrest him. Police detained Navalny shortly after his flight from Berlin landed on Sunday evening. It was due to touch down at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, where hundreds of supporters had gathered. The authorities closed the airport at the last minute, with Navalny’s plane diverted to Sheremetyevo and away from waiting media. Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh said the Kremlin was terrified of Navalny and of images showing large crowds wanting to greet him. “Until recently, it was impossible to believe they [the authorities] were so scared. But here’s the confirmation,” she tweeted.

The Guardian: The Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has arrived in Moscow nearly five months after a suspected poisoning by Russia’s FSB spy agency left him fighting for his life. Navalny’s plane landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday evening after being diverted from Vnukovo airport where supporters and media had been waiting.

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