Putin critic says he now faces ‘absurd’ terrorism charges in Russia – and could be jailed for decades

Alexei Navalny, the jailed critic of Vladimir Putin, has said he is being investigated on terrorism charges that could see him sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The Russian opposition leader is already serving sentences totalling 11 and half years on charges including fraud.

In comments posted on Twitter by Mr Navalny’s aides, the Kremlin critic said: “They have presented absurd allegations that threaten me with 30 years in prison… that I, while in prison, commit terrorist acts.”

Mr Navalny, a longstanding and outspoken critic of Mr Putin, is being held in a maximum-security IK-6 penal colony at Melekhovo, about 115 miles east of Moscow.

In March, he was sentenced to nine years in prison after he was found guilty of large-scale fraud and contempt of court.

He has called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “stupid” and “built on lies”, while calling on fellow citizens to stage daily protests.

Mr Navalny, whose campaigning organisations have been banned in Russia as “extremist”, was arrested in January 2021 after he returned to Russia from Germany, where he had been recovering from nerve agent poisoning.

More on Alexei Navalny

Read more:
Navalny possibly ‘being slowly poisoned’ in prison, spokesperson says
Jailed Putin critic needs ‘urgent medical assistance’, Germany says

He had fallen ill on a flight to Moscow and was subsequently found to have been poisoned with novichok during a campaign trip to Siberia.

Meanwhile, Navalny allies have denied any connection to the murder of Vladlen Tatarsky, a popular military blogger and supporter of Russia’s campaign in Ukraine, who was killed by a bomb in St Petersburg.

Separately, state-owned news agency TASS reported that Russian investigators have said that 11 people have been put on an “international wanted list” in a case linked to Mr Navalny.