Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden, is calling for the United States to impose sanctions on dozens of Russian oligarchs and government officials, whom it accuses of political persecution, human rights abuses and corruption.
Vladimir Ashkurov, who leads the Russian non-profit founded by Navalny, told reporters Saturday that he emailed the letter to key Biden administration officials including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
The call for sanctions comes after tens of thousands of demonstrators participated in nationwide protests last weekend after Navalny was arrested as soon as he returned to Russia from Germany.
Navalny spent months recuperating in Berlin after he was poisoned by a nerve agent. The opposition leader blames President Vladimir Putin’s government for his poisoning.
Protests against the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, are continuing nationwide for a second weekend.
Russian police have now detained over 500 people, according to the OVD-info monitoring group, after more than 3,000 people were arrested across the country during the demonstrations last week.
Thousands chanting "Putin is a thief," reported the Guardian, rallied in Moscow. Authorities in the Russian capital said that centrally located shops, restaurants, and Metro stations would be shut down and overground transport diverted, according to the BBC.
Similarly, police in St. Petersburg closed Nevsky Prospekt, the city's main street, to deter people from gathering and protesting there, The Guardian added.
Two days after Alexey Navalny, head of Russia’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) was arrested on his return to Moscow from Berlin, he released a video expose that shocked Russians and people around the world. In the video, “Putin’s palace. History of the world’s largest bribe,” Navalny alleged that an opulent property near Gelendzhik, a town in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar, was constructed for Russian President Vladimir Putin with illicit funds of $1.35 billion, provided by members of his inner circle, and that Putin is the real owner of the palace.
The palace’s features apparently include a port, a vineyard, a church, a casino, an underground hockey rink, and toilet brushes costing $850 a piece. “It is a separate state within Russia… And in this state there is a single, irreplaceable tsar. Putin,” Navalny said in the video. Allegedly covering an area of 17, 691 square meters, it is the largest private residential building in Russia. Putin denied the claims. “Nothing listed there has ever belonged to me or my close relatives,” he said Tuesday.