Navalny condemns war against Ukraine
Jailed Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has lashed out at President Vladimir Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine, declaring that it is simply meant to distract Russians from real problems at home.
In a statement made during a court hearing, the long-time protest leader said that the war would lead to a “huge number of victims, ruined destinies, and a continuation of the impoverishment of Russian citizens."
“I am against this war,” Navalny said. “I believe that this war between Russia and Ukraine was unleashed to cover up the robbery of Russian citizens and divert their attention from the problems that exist inside the country, caused by the degradation of the economy.”
According to Navalny, the ongoing assault of Ukraine can be explained by looking at the corruption of Russian officials.
“The group that has seized power [in Russia], the fact that they are literally starting wars for the sake of their palace in Gelendzhik, and their Rublevka summer houses, … this once again shows how right I was,” the opposition figure said.
Navalny was jailed for two years and eight months after being found guilty of breaking the conditions of a suspended sentence he’d received in 2014, after being found guilty of embezzling 30 million rubles ($415,000) from two companies, including the French cosmetics brand Yves Rocher. He currently stands accused of fraud and contempt of court.
Early on Thursday morning, in a televised address to the nation, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would begin launching a so-called “special military operation" in Ukraine.
The president also called for the complete “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine, and made a pledge to prosecute those who were involved in “numerous bloody crimes against civilians,” He told Ukrainian soldiers “to put down arms immediately” so that they can return back home to their families.
Moscow’s decision to enter Ukraine followed an official request from the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (DPR) People’s Republics for “help in repelling the Ukrainian military aggression.”