< /p> Illustration photo – Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a court in Moscow on February 20, 2021.
Moscow – Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny strongly condemned his country's invasion of Ukraine in a statement today. He described it as an unprovoked war of aggression that brought Russia to the bottom. According to him, Moscow is headed for an inevitable defeat, which should be followed by reparations to Ukraine, a return to the 1991 borders and a change in the political system in Russia.
On the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion, Navalny said that the “unjust war of aggression against Ukraine” was launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin under ridiculous pretexts in order to stay in power and go down in history as a “conqueror” and “collector of lands”. “The final military defeat may be delayed at the cost of the lives of hundreds of thousands more mobilized soldiers, but it is generally inevitable,” he says.
“Russia must leave Ukraine alone and allow it to develop as its people want. Stop the aggression, end the war and withdraw all its troops from Ukraine,” Navalny said. According to Navalny, Russia should recognize Ukraine within the borders of 1991, i.e. including the annexed peninsula of Crimea and the currently occupied territories in the east and south of the country.
He also called for Russia to begin paying reparations to Ukraine for the damage it has caused, with funds from the sale of oil and natural gas, after a ceasefire is reached and Western sanctions are lifted. In cooperation with international institutions, the war crimes that, according to Navalny, Russia has committed in Ukraine should also be investigated. ethically correct, rational and advantageous,” wrote the oppositionist. “We must eliminate Putin's regime and his dictatorship. Ideally through universal free elections and the convening of a constituent assembly,” he added, adding that Russia should take the “European path” of development.
Forty-six-year-old Navalny was convicted last March to a nine-year sentence for contempt of court and for allegedly stealing money he raised for his presidential campaign. Even earlier, the judiciary sentenced him to 2.5 years in prison for violating the terms of an earlier sentence, when he failed to attend mandatory check-ups due to hospitalization in Germany. The opposition leader says the charges against him are fabricated to keep the Kremlin's most vocal critic behind bars.