Alexei Navalny faces additional criminal charges over alleged calls for extremism News
© WikiMedia (Michał Siergiejevicz)
Alexei Navalny faces additional criminal charges over alleged calls for extremism

Russian dissident and critic Alexei Navalny Thursday announced that the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a new criminal case against him. The committee alleges Navalny promoted and called for terrorism, publicly called for extremism, financed extremist activities and rehabilitated Nazism. Navalny is currently serving out a nine-year sentence for parole violations, fraud and contempt of court in a Russian prison.

Navalny is charged alongside Leonid Volkov, Ivan Zhdanov and Liliya Chanysheva. All three alleged conspirators are connected with Navalny’s political presence in Russia in some way. Volkov, a long-time ally of Navalny, previously served as Navalny’s chief of staff. Zhdanov served as the director of the Navalny’s nonprofit organization, the Anti-Corruption Foundation, until June 2021. Chanysheva previously led a local unit of Navalny’s regional campaign in Ufa.

Navalny questioned the legitimacy of the charges on his Twitter, stating, “[r]arely has a criminal done as much on the outside as I have done while behind bars.” The committee alleges Navalany committed these new criminal acts while still in prison.

Though the Investigative Committee has not yet released the charges to the public, Navalny believes the charges stem from statements made on Popular Politics, a YouTube channel dedicated to “telling the truth about the war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine.” Volkov recently appeared on the channel and said, “Colonel Stauffenberg was right to try to kill Hitler, he must have been killed.” Navalny believes this and statements like it may be the source of some of the charges levied against him, Volkov, Zhdanov and Chanysheva. Popular Politics livestreamed their usual program Thursday where commentators discussed the criminal charges.

If the Investigative Committee follows through on all three charges and Navalny is sentenced, he faces a 30-year prison sentence.