Is Russia an opponent of the West?

An “extra” of Russia's opponents : Putin accuses the West of instrumentalizing Navalny

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin sees the demonstrations for Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as an attempt by Russia's opponents to exploit popular discontent. “They're using this extra now, of all times. Exactly when people in all countries of the world - including us - start to feel tired, pent-up anger, dissatisfaction (...) ”, Putin said at a meeting with journalists last week, which was excerpted on the night of the It was broadcast on state television on Sunday.

"Our opponents or potential opponents have always (...) relied on very ambitious, power-hungry people and always used them," said the Russian President.

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Tens of thousands of people across Russia demonstrated in mass protests over the past few weeks for the release of the imprisoned opposition member Navalny. Just two weeks ago, Navalny was sentenced to several years in a prison camp in a trial that was heavily criticized internationally.

He is accused of violating probation requirements in a previous criminal case while recovering from a poison attack in Germany. The protests, during which a total of more than 11,000 people were arrested, were also directed against Putin.

[T + subscribers can read more about Navalny's fellow campaigners here: Prison, persecution, violence - the price paid by Navalny's loyalists]

For this Sunday, Navalny's supporters have announced a new form of protest: The people in Russia are called to stand in front of their houses in the evening and hold up flashlights for a few minutes - as a sign of solidarity with Navalny.

Navalny sends love greetings to his wife Julia

On Valentine's Day, Navalny sent a love greeting to his wife Julia on Instagram on Valentine's Day, from whom he will probably be separated for a few years. "I love you," said the post published on his account on Sunday. “And I make all the jokes in the courtroom to make you laugh in the front row.” The post also contained a photo of the Navalny couple together.

Julia Navalnaja reacted a little later on Instagram with a photo in which she and Alexej are sitting on a bench at a distance from each other and stretching out their hands one after the other. "I'm not sad, I know that everything will be fine," she wrote. (dpa)

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