Tags: Russia | tom cotton | putin | afraid | russian people | imprisons | opponents

Sen. Cotton: Putin Shows He's 'Afraid of His Own People'

(AFP news agency/YouTube)

By    |   Sunday, 28 January 2018 02:57 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin's jailing of political rival shows "he is afraid of his own people" and "just how corrupt and oppressive his regime truly is," Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote in a statement Sunday.

"Vladimir Putin has once again thrown Alexei Navalny in jail because he is afraid of his own people – and what they would do if they were free," Cotton's statement read. "Every time he imprisons an opposition leader, it only shows the world just how corrupt and oppressive his regime truly is."

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was wrestled to the ground and forced into a police vehicle Sunday as he headed to a Moscow protest that was part of a day of nationwide demonstrations.

Navalny, the most prominent foe of President Vladimir Putin, organized the protests to urge a boycott of Russia's March 18 presidential election, in which Putin is sure to win a fourth term.

The anti-corruption campaigner was denied permission to be a presidential candidate because of an embezzlement conviction in a case widely seen as politically motivated.

Sunday's protests gathered crowds through the sprawling nation despite frigid temperatures. Navalny's web page showed a small group of protesters in remote Yakutsk, where it was minus 45 Celsius (minus 49 Fahrenheit).

A crowd that police estimated at 1,000 people assembled in central Moscow's Pushkin Square, brandishing placards reading "They've stolen the election from us" and "Elections without Navalny are fake."

Navalny was arrested as he walked down a main thoroughfare to the demonstration. A YouTube Video from AFP news agency showed Navalny struggling with police before they pushed him to the ground and then into a bus.

Navalny, tweeted about the circumstances, and wrote on his Facebook page he is "proud" of the demonstrations of "real citizens," as translated by Facebook.

Material from The Associated Press was used in compiling this report.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin's jailing of political rival shows "he is afraid of his own people" and "just how corrupt and oppressive his regime truly is," Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote in a statement Sunday."Vladimir Putin has once again thrown Alexei Navalny in jail...
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2018-57-28
Sunday, 28 January 2018 02:57 PM
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