EXPLAINER: Behind the Kremlin’s response to Navalny rallies

first_imgMOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities are clearly rattled by nationwide protests over jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. They are moving rapidly to block any new demonstrations – from piling legal pressure on his allies to launching an elaborate media campaign to discredit him. The mass rallies last weekend resulted in over 4,000 people detained and dozens of criminal investigations opened. Scores of Navalny associates have been jailed, and his top allies face criminal charges that carry prison terms. President Vladimir Putin likened organizers of the protests to “terrorists,” and lawmakers charged that Navalny was a Western stooge and betrayed his country to the benefit of Russia’s adversaries. Navalny’s team says it won’t give in and is calling for more demonstrations Sunday.last_img

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