Russia's Putin warns Biden against 'crossing red line'
Apr 22 2021
Allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, meanwhile have planned nationwide protests over his deteriorating health in jail.
Over 400 people were arrested across the country in connection with the protests, according to a human rights group that monitors political repression.
He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years on old fraud charges his supporters say were politically motivated and has been serving time in a penal colony in the town of Pokrov about 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow. His supporters called the rallies as his health reportedly is in severe decline.
Reports about Navalny's rapidly deteriorating health have drawn worldwide outrage.
Navalny's aides have called for what they hoped would be the biggest protests in modern Russian history as the jailed opposition leader entered the 22nd day of his hunger strike, saying they feared for his life.
Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's staunchest critic, declared a hunger strike on March 31 to demand access to better medical care.
In Moscow, where Navalny's allies want to protest on a square by the Kremlin where Putin is set to address the two chambers of parliament earlier on Wednesday, the mayor's office said the protest would not be authorized because of the COVID-19 outbreak. In his speech, he denounced foreign governments' alleged attempts to impose their will on Russian Federation. Putin, who never publicly uses Navalny's name, did not specify to whom the denunciation referred, but Western governments have been harshly critical of Navalny's treatment and have called for his release. "His arms are all blue with the shots", the lawyer said. She was taken to a police station and charged with organizing an illegal gathering.
Sobol was removed from a taxi by uniformed policei, said her lawyer, Vladimir Voronin.
OVD-Info reported that police searched the offices of Navalny's organization in Yekaterinbrug and detained a Navalny-affiliated journalist in Khabarovsk.
In St. Petersburg, the State University of Aerospace Instrumentation posted a notice warning that students participating in unauthorised demonstrations could be expelled.
Navalny was detained when he returned to Russian Federation in January after months recovering in Germany from a near-fatal nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin - an accusation it rejects. Russian officials have rejected the accusation.
Navalny, who survived a nerve agent poisoning last year that Russian Federation denies carrying out, was sentenced in February to 2-1/2 years for parole violations related to an embezzlement case that he says was politically motivated.
Mr Navalny started a prison hunger strike three weeks ago to protest against what he says is inadequate medical treatment for his back pain and officials' refusal to allow a visit by his doctor.
Russia's prison service insisted his condition was "satisfactory", despite moving him to the medical facility, and said he was taking vitamin supplements as part of his treatment.
His team over the weekend said a blood test had shown showed high potassium levels and elevated creatinine, indicating Navalny could be suffering from impaired kidney function and risked cardiac arrest. He was moved to a prison with a hospital on Sunday.