A year after arrest, Navalny says no 'regret' about return to Russia

By: AFP
Published: 06:18 PM, 17 Jan, 2022
A year after arrest, Navalny says no 'regret' about return to Russia
Caption: A year after arrest, Navalny says no 'regret' about return to Russia.
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Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said Monday he has no regrets, a year to the day he was arrested after returning to Moscow from Germany where he was recovering from a poisoning attack.

"I did it, I don't regret it for a second. And I will continue to do it," Navalny, who is serving time on old fraud charges, said in a post on Instagram.

He also posted a photo of himself wearing an inmate uniform, his arm around his wife Yulia.

"I didn't manage to take a single step through my country as a free man. I was arrested even before border control," said Navalny, who was taken into custody on January 17, 2021 at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. 

"Having served my first year in prison, I want to tell everyone exactly what I shouted to those gathered outside the court when a convoy led me to a police van: don't be afraid of anything," Navalny added. 

"This is our country and we have no other," the opposition leader said.

A vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin, Navalny, 45, was arrested shortly after disembarking a flight from Germany, where he spent several months recovering from a near-fatal nerve toxin poisoning he blames on the Kremlin.

Russia has refused to open an investigation into the attempt on his life, citing lack of evidence and blaming Berlin for not cooperating.

His imprisonment in February last year sparked an international outcry and fresh Western sanctions on Moscow, with world leaders demanding his release. 

Since Navalny's arrest, his organisations were shut down and declared "extremist", while key allies fled the country over fears of imprisonment. 

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.