Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Navalny Announces Return to Russia Despite Prison Threat

Navalny has been recovering from a Novichok poisoning in Germany since August. Yury Kochetkov / EPA / TASS

Opposition figure Alexei Navalny will fly back to Russia on Sunday despite the threat of imprisonment upon his return, the Kremlin critic announced on Wednesday. 

Navalny, 44, has been recovering in Germany following what western scientists determined to be poisoning by the Novichok nerve agent in August. He vowed to return to Russia after making a full recovery from the poisoning, which he claims was ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

“The question of whether ‘to return or not’ never stood before me. Simply because I didn’t leave. I ended up in Germany, having arrived there in an intensive care box,” Navalny tweeted.

“On Jan. 17, Sunday, I will return home on a Pobeda flight. Come greet me,” he said.

His announcement comes a day after Russia’s Federal Prison Service (FSIN) asked the court to replace his 2014 suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case with a real prison term, a signal that he could be jailed when he arrives in Russia. The FSIN argued that Navalny broke the terms of his probation in the case — which he says was politically motivated and Europe’s human rights court ruled was unfair — after his evacuation to Germany.

Late in December, Russian investigators opened a criminal probe on allegations that the anti-corruption campaigner had misused $4.8 million of donations to his nonprofits. The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

I survived. And now Putin, who gave the order for my murder, is screeching all around his bunker and telling his servants to do everything so that I do not return. The servants act as usual: They fabricate new criminal cases against me,” Navalny wrote.

The Kremlin continues to deny that Navalny was poisoned, accusing the West of refusing to share evidence.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more