Supporters of imprisoned Russian dissident and opposition leader Alexei Navalny constructed a fake jail cell outside the Russian embassy in Berlin on Tuesday.
The anti-Putin, pro-Navalny demonstration, which featured Navalny’s brother Oleg, drew about 100 people.
“There is a connection between what happens to Alexei Navalny and the war in Ukraine,” organizer Leonid Volkov said.
Navalny was jailed in Russia and sentenced to nine years for fraud after returning to the country in 2021. He’d left Russia after being poisoned with Novichok, a chemical nerve agent, the year prior.
Volkov added that Navalny is further punished by his jailers whenever he criticizes the war in Ukraine during court appearances.
Navalny has written frankly about his treatment in prison, describing it as an effort to break his spirit and silence other critics.
“Everything you read about the horrors and fascist crimes of our prison system is all true. With one amendment: The reality is even worse,” he said in an Instagram post earlier this month.
Volkov said recent events, like hundreds of doctors successfully petitioning for Navalny to receive medical treatment, showed the Kremlin was susceptible to outside pressure campaigns and reason for demonstrations like Tuesday’s in Berlin.
“There are maybe signs that they are actually listening in the Kremlin,” he said. “Not because they are good people — they’re not — not because they are humanistic, but because they are vulnerable.”
Volkov added that it was possible Navalny could be the subject of future peace talks.
“[Putin] knows that at some point in time he will be forced into negotiations and then, okay, many options will be on the table,” he said.
The demonstration occurred prior to documentary film “Navalny” being nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature.
With News Wire Services