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Russia | The Guardian: Kremlin tries to downplay Navalny’s jailing as thousands arrested

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Brutal crackdown on protesters by riot police follows opposition leader’s 32-month prison sentence

The Kremlin has attempted to play down the jailing of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, saying that his 32-month imprisonment would have not have “significant influence” on Russian politics or lead to a mass protest movement similar to the one in neighbouring Belarus.

Meanwhile, protesters detained at recent rallies in support of Navalny have complained of inhumane conditions as police hold them in overcrowded jails or on buses in subzero temperatures days after their arrest.

Born in 1976 just outside Moscow, Alexei Navalny is a lawyer-turned-campaigner whose Anti-Corruption Foundation investigates the wealth of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. 

Related: Alexei Navalny has been jailed. But he’ll still be spooking Vladimir Putin | Rafael Behr

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Russia | The Guardian

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