Alexei Navalny published a text about his return to Russia exactly two years ago. Since then, he has been in detention after being arrested right at the passport control in the Sheremetyevo airport. The Insider quotes the politician's post in its entirety:
“Exactly two years ago I returned to Russia. Exactly two years I’ve spent in prison. And when you write a post like this, you need to ask yourself: How many more of these anniversary posts will you have to write?
But life and the events around us tell us the answer: no matter however many. Our unhappy and weary Motherland needs saving. It has been robbed, wounded, dragged into an aggressive war, and turned into a prison run by the most unscrupulous and deceitful scoundrels. Any opposition to this gang, however symbolic in my current limited capacity, is important.
Alexei Navalny says goodbye to his wife in Sheremetyevo. He was arrested at the passport control, his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.
Like two years ago, I still can say: Russia is my country. I was born and grew up here, my parents are here, and I started my family here. I am a full-fledged citizen and I have the right to join those who think like me and to be politically active. And there are many of us, certainly more than there are corrupt judges, lying propagandists and Kremlin thieves.
I'm not going to give up my country to them, and I believe the darkness will disappear. But as long as it persists, I will do what I can, I will try to do the right thing, and urge everyone not to give in to despondency.
Russia will be happy!”
On Jan. 17, 2021, Navalny returned to Russia from Germany, where he received treatment after being poisoned with chemical weapons. The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service said that Navalny was detained in connection with his violation of probation in the Yves Rocher case and him being on the wanted list (it contradicted the ECHR decision, as well as the fact that Navalny's probation in the Yves Rocher case expired on December 30, 2020).
In October 2022, Navalny was also accused of “calling for terrorism and extremism, financing extremist activities, and rehabilitating Nazism.” According to the Investigative Committee, he did all these things without leaving the colony. He faces up to 30 more years in prison under these charges.
According to Navalny, he has already received official notification of the criminal case being opened.
“I am a genius of the criminal world. Professor Moriarty pales in comparison. You all thought I had been spending two years in isolation, in prison, but it turns out I’d been actively committing crimes. It's good that the Investigative Committee was vigilant and did not miss a thing,” Navalny wrote. “Nice, isn’t it? Very few criminals have done as much outside as I have done from inside the prison. The only thing that clouds my self-esteem is that these successes should not be credited to me alone but also to my accomplices: Volkov, Zhdanov, Chanysheva. I am the leader of a criminal group, and they follow my orders.”