He returned to public view on Thursday for the primary time since he started a starvation strike to demand higher medical therapy. He ended the 24-day starvation strike final week. Talking by video hyperlink to a Moscow courtroom, Mr. Navalny was interesting a February conviction for defamation of a World Warfare II veteran that resulted in an $11,500 high quality. The court docket denied the attraction. On the courtroom video screens, Mr. Navalny appeared gaunt, however as he talked over the choose’s makes an attempt to interrupt his closing assertion, his voice sounded almost as forceful because it was in his dramatic courtroom appearances earlier this yr.
Mr. Putin, he mentioned, was making an attempt to wrap himself within the glory of the Soviet Union’s victory in World Warfare II as a way to justify his effort to remain in energy.
“Your emperor with no garments has stolen the banner of victory and is making an attempt to trend it right into a thong for himself,” Mr. Navalny mentioned, addressing the choose, in line with audio recordings printed by Russian information shops. “All of your authorities are occupiers and traitors.”
Throughout a break within the continuing, Mr. Navalny spoke together with his spouse, Yulia Navalnaya, over the video hyperlink within the courtroom. He advised her that wardens had taken him to a sauna on Wednesday to enhance his look earlier than the general public noticed him. He advised her he was regularly growing the variety of spoons of porridge he was consuming as he got here out of his starvation strike.
“I’m only a horrible skeleton,” he mentioned, describing what he noticed when he appeared within the mirror.
At a unique Moscow courthouse on Thursday, Mr. Navalny’s legal professionals arrived for a closed-door session within the extremism case in opposition to his group. The proof within the case has been dominated a state secret, however the opposition chief’s workforce mentioned they realized that investigators had launched one more felony investigation in opposition to Mr. Navalny, Mr. Volkov and one other prime aide, Ivan Zhdanov.
The crime being investigated, the Russian state-run Tass information company confirmed, was “the creation of a nonprofit group infringing on the privateness and rights of residents.”
Mr. Volkov, a former software-company government who ran Mr. Navalny’s nationwide community of regional places of work, mentioned that not all of them would shut. Others, he predicted, would remodel into unbiased political entities engaged in native politics.