Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of the Kremlin, announced via social media on Friday that the Russian Investigative Committee opened a new criminal case against him. Via his associates on the Telegram platform, Navalny said that he was charged under Article 214 of the Russian Penal Code, which pertains to vandalism. However, Navalny was not informed of the specifics regarding the alleged offense. Navalny said, “I have no idea what Article 214 is, and there’s nowhere to look. You will know about this before I do.”
Expressing his dismay, Navalny also commented on the recurrent initiation of new criminal cases against him as he endures solitary confinement. The dissident said, “Never before has a convict, sitting in solitary confinement for more than a year, lived such a rich social and political life.” Navalny, recognized for his activism against the government of President Vladimir Putin, has persistently contested prior convictions, including allegations of extremism, resulting in extended periods of isolation over the past two years due to various purported violations.
This revelation comes just a month after Navalny’s legal team was labeled ‘extremists’ by Russia’s Federal Service for Financial Monitoring. It also follows his August conviction on charges of renewed extremist activity, adding 19 years to his existing 11-and-a-half-year prison sentence. Navalny rebuffed the charges, attributing them to political motives aimed at stifling his criticisms of the Kremlin.
Navalny voluntarily returned to Russia in 2021 after recovering from a near-fatal poisoning in Germany, an action the Kremlin denies any involvement in. He was immediately arrested upon arrival.