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Putin warns protestors for Navalny's release not to cross red line

Putin warns protestors for Navalny's release not to cross red line

Posted April. 23, 2021 08:17,   

Updated April. 23, 2021 08:17


Protestors took to the streets across Russia on Wednesday to call for the release of opposition figure Alexei Navalny. In a state of the union address on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a warning message to Western countries that are supportive of Navalny, by calling on them not to cross the red line to keep them from intervening in domestic affairs. Placing more than 1,000 protestors under arrest on Wednesday alone, the Putin administration implied its intentions not to set Navalny free.

Major Russian cities, including Moscow and Saint Petersburg, were flooded with a crowd of citizens condemning President Putin while calling for the release of Navalny who is currently in detention. Many protestors expressed support of Navalny's same-age wife Yulia who is taking the lead in anti-government protests instead of his imprisoned husband. People on the streets chanted “Freedom to Navalny” and "Putin is a thief.”  

When some of the pro-Navalny rallies on Wednesday were headed to the Kremlin, conflicts took place with the police forces, ending up with 20 protestors under arrest, according to the Moscow Times. A total of 1,000-plus Russian citizens were put under arrest across the nation on Wednesday alone including Navalny's close associates - Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer of Navalny-led anti-corruption foundation FBK, and Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s press secretary.  

Putin argued that no one should cross the “red line” in a relationship with Moscow, warning that only regrets will await those who incite provocation, according to TACC. In particular, he criticized major E.U. member states for joining forces with Washington to impose sanctions on Moscow, scorning that it has become a new sport activity for the West to attack Russia for no reason.  

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com