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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Faces Additional 20-Year Prison Term

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Russian prosecutors asked a court to sentence jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny to 20 years in prison on a slew of extremism charges, his ally Ivan Zhdanov said Thursday.

The trial, which took place behind closed doors in the prison where the Kremlin foe is serving another long sentence, is set to end with a verdict on August 4, Zhdanov said.

The new charges against Navalny pertain to the operations of his anti-corruption organization and comments by his top associates.

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critics, Navalny revealed official corruption and organized significant anti-Kremlin protests. He rejects all of the charges against him as politically motivated.

Navalny is currently serving a lengthy sentence in a maximum-security prison east of Moscow.

He was arrested in 2021 after returning to Moscow from Germany, where he was recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Russian government.

Navalny was then sentenced to 2½ years in prison for parole violations and another nine years for fraud and contempt of court.

In his final statement in a prison court before his sentencing, Navalny reportedly condemned the invasion of Ukraine, according to the Moscow Times newspaper.

“My Russia made several big jumps, pushing everyone around, but then slipped and with a roar, destroying everything around, collapsed,” he said, according to a July statement published by his team. “And now it is floundering in a pool of either mud or blood, with broken bones, with a poor and robbed population, and around it lie tens of thousands of people killed in the most stupid and senseless war of the 21st century,” Navalny said.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.

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