Navalny rips Putin over 'stupid war'




  • In US
  • 2022-05-24 13:43:06Z
  • By The Hill
 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday slammed the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, using a brief appearance in court to cast the Russian leader as a madman and call the war in Ukraine a "stupid" offensive that the country was losing.

Navalny lost an appeal at a Moscow court to overturn a nine-year prison sentence, but he used his time to air his grievances, according to coverage of the hearing from Reuters.

"This is a stupid war which your Putin started," Navalny said, breaking through a judge's repeated interruptions. "This war was built on lies. One madman has got his claws into Ukraine and I do not know what he wants to do with it - this crazy thief."

Navalny, the most well-known opposition leader in Russia who has spent years attempting to uncover and bring to light corruption in Moscow, was sentenced to nine years in prison on fraud charges in March, adding to a 2 1/2-year sentence he was handed last year for breaking parole.

Russia said Navalny broke parole when he traveled to Germany in 2020 for medical treatment after he was poisoned. The activist says that the poisoning was ordered by Moscow.

Following the invasion of Ukraine in late February, Russia passed a "fake news" law that prohibits anyone from speaking out against what Russian leaders call a "special military operation" or from criticizing the country's armed forces.

Russia has used the law to punish some of the biggest journalists and activists in Russia for speaking out against the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian forces are accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine, while the military has lost key battles and territory to Ukrainian troops.

Navalny spent his time at court on Tuesday unabashedly criticizing the war, Reuters reported.

"What do you want to achieve? Do you want short-term control, to fight with future generations, to fight for the future of Russia?" Navalny said, according to Reuters. "You will all suffer historic defeat."

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