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Imprisoned Navalny friend says he will be free when Putin is gone

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Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader to Putin was poisoned in 2020. Navalny was imprisoned upon his return to Russia last year. One of his close aides told CNN he would be released from prison when Putin is no longer in office. Something is loading.

An associate of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told CNN that Navalny’s release from prison would come when Putin is removed from office.

Last month Navalny, who was already in prison, was found guilty of fraud and contempt of court and was moved to a maximum security facility to serve a 13-year sentence.

In an interview with CNN, Maria Pevchikh, head of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation investigation department, said the sentence was arbitrary.

“I think these numbers mean nothing. He can be sentenced to nine years to 99 years to 900 years. It makes almost no sense,” Pevchikh said.

His comments precede the premiere of the CNN movie “Navalny.”

In 2020, Navalny was poisoned with Novichok in Siberia. After receiving medical treatment in Germany, he returned to Russia in 2021 where he was arrested and detained for missing probation meetings.

The Kremlin has accused Navalny of embezzling the money raised by his foundation. He was also accused of insulting a judge in a previous trial, but he and his allies alleged the charges were politically motivated to crush dissent in Russia.

“Navalny’s case is purely political. Vladimir Putin has decided to throw him in jail indefinitely,” Pevchikh said. “So, as a lot of people are saying, Navalny’s sentence is basically a life sentence. The question is, whose life will it be?”

She added: “I’m pretty sure Navalny is going to stay in jail probably until Putin leaves office, until Putin is removed from office. Our mission is to make sure that day happen as soon as possible and that Alexey be out of jail as soon as possible.”

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