Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny has called on Russians to stage daily protests against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, depicting President Vladimir Putin as an “obviously insane tsar”.
Navalny called for the protests in a statement published on Twitter on Wednesday by his spokesperson.
He called for protests across the country and abroad to signal that not all Russians support the war and show solidarity with the thousands of people detained in anti-war protests in Russia since last week’s invasion.
“We cannot wait even a day longer. Wherever you are. In Russia, Belarus, or on the other side of the planet. Go out onto the main square of your city every weekday at 19.00 and at 14.00 at weekends and on holidays,” he said.
Navalny said Russia wanted to be a nation of peace but few people would call it that now.
“Let’s at least not become a nation of frightened silent people. Of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane tsar.
“I am from the USSR. I was born there. And the main phrase from there – from my childhood – was ‘fight for peace’. I call on everyone to come out onto the streets and fight for peace… Putin is not Russia.”
Navalny, the most prominent of Putin’s opponents, was jailed in 2021 after his return from Germany following treatment for what Western laboratory tests showed was an attempt to poison him with a nerve agent in Siberia.
He said he was sentenced on trumped-up charges.
Russia denied carrying out such an attack and dismisses suggestions that Navalny’s treatment was politically motivated. It describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation”.
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