UPDATED 6:00 PM PT – Monday, January 25, 2021
Vladimir Putin claimed the latest uptick in support of Alexei Navalny is illegal, despite the Russian Constitution allowing the right to free assembly.
Alexei Navalny is the face of courage on the planet, as are the thousands of Russians who stand with him. Every champion of truth and freedom salutes them.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) January 24, 2021
“We have repeatedly encountered situations when the situation went far beyond the law and shook our society and the state,” Putin stated. “Where not only people who were engaged in it suffered, but also those people who had nothing to do with it.”
Putin also claimed he does not own the multi-billion assets found by Navalny in his latest investigation.
This came as Putin’s approval rating has tanked below 30%, while hundreds of thousands of Russians are rallying in support of the opposition leader.
“It is very good that people all over the country came out to the protest on January 23, I was pleasantly surprised by this, because there are rumors that only Muscovites have a different opinion, but it turns out that the whole country is thinking about all these political topics, and I am very glad about it,” Moscow resident Elizaveta Tikhanova said.
Disturbing scenes from #Russia. Tens of thousands of people joined rallies across Russia. More than 2,000 people were detained during nationwide protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei @navalny. Many were brutally beaten. It’s a huge show of defiance against #Putin pic.twitter.com/cs91BweaOv
— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) January 23, 2021
The Russian opposition plans to continue protests across the country in coming weeks, saying the society is sick and tired of the Kremlin’s corruption, economic mismanagement and political failures.