Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin during a speech in a Moscow court on Tuesday, calling Putin a “thieving little man.”
Business Insider reported that Navalny “faces charges of violating the terms of a suspended sentence for fraud in 2014, which “the European Court of Human Rights described the 2014 conviction as politically motivated.”
With protests raging across Russia over his detention, Navalny demanded he and “all political prisoners” be released.
“This is happening to intimidate large numbers of people. They’re imprisoning one person to frighten millions,” he said.
Navalny, Putin’s most prominent critic, was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in Siberia last August. He was subsequently taken to Germany for treatment, and was arrested upon returning to Moscow last month.
Navalny said on Tuesday that Putin will “go down in history as nothing but a poisoner.”
During his speech, Navalny said he “mortally offended” Putin “by surviving” the poisoning.
“I survived thanks to good people, thanks to pilots and doctors. And then I committed an even more serious offense: I didn’t run and hide. Then something truly terrifying happened: I participated in the investigation of my own poisoning, and we proved, in fact, that Putin, using Russia’s Federal Security Service, was responsible for this attempted murder. And that’s driving this thieving little man in his bunker out of his mind. He’s simply going insane as a result.”
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