TOPSHOT – Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks during an interview with AFP at the office of his Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow on January 16, 2018. – The Kremlin’s top critic Alexei Navalny has slammed Russia’s March presidential election, in which he is barred from running, as a sham meant to “re-appoint” Vladimir Putin on his way to becoming “emperor for life”. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 11:05 AM PT – Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appeared in court while seeking to overturn his designation as a potential “terrorist threat.” While speaking from a Russian prison Tuesday, he pleaded for that designation of “extremism” to be taken away.
The opposition leader said he has never coordinated or carried out terrorist acts and never plans to. Navalny added that if anything, Russian state security committed an act of terrorism against him when they nearly killed him in last year’s attack.
“I didn’t explode anybody, I didn’t take hostages, I didn’t do anything like that and don’t plan to,” he stated. “If we talk about me being related to a terrorist crime somehow, it’s me who was a victim of a terrorist attack when FSB (Federal Security Service) officers tried to kill me.”
Earlier in the day, Russian officials detained five allies of Navalny for being involved in his political organizations, which were outlawed this year. One of his allies is facing charges of allegedly forming a terrorist group against the Russian government.