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'Becoming a hardened criminal': Navalny says Russia has launched three new criminal probes against him

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: May 25, 2021, 05:02 PM IST

(File photo) Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny Photograph:(Reuters)

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"I'm becoming a more hardened criminal every day," he said in an Instagram post. "So don't think I'm only sitting in a cell, drinking tea and doing nothing”, he added

Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin critic currently in prison, has claimed that three new criminal investigations have been initiated against him by Russian authorities.

In an Instagram post published on Tuesday, he said he learned about the cases from an investigator who had visited him on Monday.

"I'm becoming a more hardened criminal every day," he said in the post. "So don't think I'm only sitting in a cell, drinking tea and doing nothing”, he added.

Navalny said that investigators are currently looking into alleged theft of donations from his anti-corruption foundation called FKB, violation of human rights, and insulting a judge. Earlier, the Russian Investigative Committee had said that it initiated investigations into FKB and human rights violations allegedly committed by Navalny and his allies.

In February, a prosecutor had requested the Investigative Committee to look into Navalny’s statements during one of his trials and to see whether any of his words could qualify as being insulting towards the judge.

Navalny has remained in custody since he returned from Germany after his treatment. He was poisoned using a Soviet era nerve agency called Novichok. This has been confirmed by German medical authorities.

Russia has denied any involvement in his poisoning, but Navalny pins the full blame on Russian officials. He has been seen as Putin’s largest critic in the country. His treatment spurred a series of pro-Navalny protests across Russia which were quelled by Russian authorities. The use of force against protesters invited global ire.