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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Russia. Alexey Navalny from Moscow arrest: I do not regret my return

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Returning to Russia is a completely rational choice. I will not accept the lawlessness of my country’s authorities, Alexei Navalny said in social media. “I greet everyone from the famous special block of Matrosskaya Tiszyna,” wrote the opposition activist, who will be in custody until February 15.

“I read about him in books, and now I found myself here – this is Russian life,” said Alexei Navalny, referring to the block of the special detention center of Matrosskaya Tiszyn. In a short comment, he compared the detention cell to the hospital room in which he was located a few months ago. As in the hospital, he wrote, he is now in “a small room from which one cannot get out.”


Navalny assured that his decision to return from Germany to Russia was rational. “I could not have acted otherwise, and there is neither pathos, nor sacrifice, nor fatalism in it. It is a completely rational choice. I will not accept the lawlessness of my country’s authorities. his friends who were bogged down by corruption, “he said.

“I do not regret coming back” – he noted in a comment illustrated with his photo after his arrest, when despite the handcuffs on his hands he shows the “V” sign with his fingers.

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Navalny accused the country’s rulers of dividing the Russians into “three bars”: the dazed, reconciled, who keep silent, and those who “refuse to be silent and fight as much as they can”. “I am simply trying with all my strength to stay in this post, despite the threats, attempted murder and the current imprisonment” – he declared. He called on his supporters to “choose the right one” from among the three bars.

Books must go through the “censorship procedure”

On Tuesday morning, Alexei Melnikov, an activist of the visiting committee in Moscow, visited Navalny in the detention center of Matrosskaya Tiszyn. According to his account, Navalny is alone in a three-person cell, which “looks decent” due to the need for a 14-day quarantine.

The opposition activist asked his relatives to give him, inter alia, books. These, however, will have to “undergo the procedure of so-called censorship”, ie checking whether they are used to transmit prohibited information – explained the activist. Melnikov also said that violations occurred less frequently in Matrosska Tiszyn than in other detention centers. “There are various prisoners there, including famous and high-ranking prisoners,” he added.

The arrest where Alexei Navalny is stayingPAP / EPA / YURI KOCHETKOV

Navalny was in the custody of Magnitski and Khodorkovsky

Matrosskaya Tiszyn is one of the most famous prisons in Moscow. From the end of the 19th century, a penitentiary was operating there, the names and functions of which changed – it was successively: a prison, a correctional facility, and a penal colony. The detention center is named after the street on which it stands, and this one is related to the history of the district. There was a shelter for veteran sailors in this area, and for the comfort of the residents a quiet zone was arranged around it: even carriages could not pass this way.

In modern Russia, the most famous detainees of Matrosskaya Tiszyn were the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, killed in that prison, and the former head of the Yukos oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / YURI KOCHETKOV

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