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Navalny Urges More Protests Against Russia’s Invasion 


FILE - Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny takes part in a rally to mark the 5th anniversary of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov's murder and to protest against proposed amendments to the country's constitution, in Moscow, Feb. 29, 2020.

Jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny has again called for protests against Moscow's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, saying the response of Russians to the war "will largely define Russia's place in the history of the 21st century."

Navalny, the Kremlin critic who is currently serving a 2 1/2-year sentence on what his supporters and Western legal analysts call a trumped-up fraud charge, wrote on Twitter on March 8 that anger against the war was building inside Russia and "the anti-war momentum will keep growing across the society, so the anti-war protests should not be halted under any circumstances."

"It’s one thing if Putin killed Ukrainian civilians and destroyed life-critical infrastructure with full approval from the Russian citizens. However, it’s a whole different story if Putin’s bloody venture is not supported by the society," he added in a series of tweets.

Last week, Navalny called for daily demonstrations against the war, urging daily protests in cities.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, more than 13,500 people have been detained by police for protesting against the war, according to OVD-Info, a nonprofit that monitors police arrests nationwide.

Navalny said a series of surveys — four online polls each consisting of 700 participants from Moscow carried out by his aides and associates — showed "rapid shifts" in the evaluation of Russia's role in the war.

While admitting the survey was limited, the 45-year-old lawyer said it was still apparent that "it took a few days of war to bring about radical mood changes among Russians."

"People are generally willing to change their stance, but only if we engage them in the dialogue and provide them with true information about the war," he said.

"Undoubtedly, the Kremlin can see these dynamics as well, hence the nervousness, the desperate attempts to end the war campaign as soon as possible," Navalny added.

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