Published: Thu, April 22, 2021
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Putin Warns Nations of ‘Crossing Red Line’ with Russian Federation

Putin Warns Nations of ‘Crossing Red Line’ with Russian Federation

Addressing the Federal Assembly, Putin said "the meaning and content" of Russia's policy in the global arena is "to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of the country".

Another legal representative of Navalny, Vadim Kobzev, said that the dissident has so far received only one glucose injection since Sunday at the hospital unit, which is meant to treat those suffering from tuberculosis.

President Vladimir Putin will deliver a state-of-the-nation speech to Russians on Wednesday.

Putin's speech came as law enforcement geared up for mass protest rallies in support of Navalny, expected in Moscow and across the nation Wednesday.

In an apparent reference to the US and its allies, the Russian leader denounced those who impose "unlawful, politically motivated economic sanctions and crude attempts to enforce its will on others". Putin, who never publicly uses Navalny's name, did not specify to whom the denunciation referred, but Western governments have been harshly critical of Navalny's treatment and have called for his release.

In Moscow, Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh and Lyubov Sobol, one of his most prominent associates, were detained by police in the morning. She was taken to a police station and charged with organizing an illegal gathering.

Sobol was removed from a taxi by uniformed policei, said her lawyer, Vladimir Voronin.

On the eve of the protests, monitoring group OVD-Info reported police raids at Navalny's regional offices in the cities of Krasnodar and Kurgan, and arrests of individual activists in about a dozen cities.

In St. Petersburg, the State University of Aerospace Instrumentation posted a notice warning that students participating in unauthorized demonstrations could be expelled.

AFP journalists saw large crowds gathered in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, though not on the scale of pro-Navalny demonstrations seen earlier this year, when tens of thousands rallied and thousands were arrested. Russian officials have rejected the accusation.

Navalny, who is in a prison hospital after being on a hunger strike for the last three weeks, was moved over the weekend from a penal colony near Moscow to a medical unit at a prison in the city of Vladimir, some 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of the capital.

In February, a Moscow court ordered him to serve two-and-a-half years in prison on a 2014 embezzlement conviction that the European Court of Human Rights deemed to be "arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable".

The state prison service has said his condition is satisfactory and that he has agreed to receive "vitamin therapy".

Navalny's physician, Dr. Yaroslav Ashikhmin, said recently that test results he received from Navalny's family showed sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys and he "could die at any moment".

The 44-year-old opposition politician is now being held in a one-person cell in the hospital of a maximum-security prison and has been given no treatment beyond a glucose drip, his lawyer, Vadim Kobzev, said after visiting him. Prison officials rebuffed attempts by his doctors to visit him there.

A Russian police officer speaks with an opposition supporter holding a poster reading "No war, repressions and tortures!" during a rally in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in Vladivostok on April 21, 2021.

"It is, of course, an element of escalation", Ashurkov told the AP. Work was underway on other "most modern combat systems, including Poseidon, Petrel and other systems". "We have neither the intention nor the possibility to abandon what we're doing".

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