Alexei Navalny Says He Doesn't Intend To Kill Himself Ahead Of Russian Protests
Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of the Russian government, has told his supporters that he has no intention of killing himself, as protests against Vladimir Putin's administration take place in cities around the country today.
On Friday evening the Kremlin critic released a message of support for those partaking in the anti-government protests today.
The protests have been decried as illegal by the government, but thousands have still gathered across Russia today in support of Navalny.
Navalny is currently in prison after returning to his homeland after being poisoned with what some in the West have said was a military grade nerve agent that was put into his underpants by state security agents.
The Kremlin has denied this, but Navalny was still detained last Sunday pending the outcome of four legal matters that he says are baseless.
The 44-year-old lawyer has accused Vladimir Putin of attempted murder, which Putin denies and has alleged that Navalny is part of a US conspiracy to discredit him and his government.
In an Instagram message shared by his lawyer, Navalny said that he wanted to make very clear that he is in good physical and mental health, and has no plans to kill himself.
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He said: "Just in case, I am announcing that I don't plan to either hang myself on a window grill or cut my veins or throat open with a sharpened spoon,
"I use the staircase very carefully. They measure my blood pressure every day and it's like a cosmonaut's so a sudden heart attack is ruled out. I know for a fact that there are many good people outside my prison and that help will come,"
The Russian state has already opened criminal proceedings against the organisers of the protest, and accused them of illegally encouraging children to attend, as well as warning against the risks of catching Covid-19 at the events.
Navalny's supporters outside of Moscow have also been targeted, and posts on social media supporting or encouraging people to attend have been deleted following the government's decision to illegalise the events.
Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook: "When minors are being invited to (political) meetings do not expect anything good. Because children are dragged into political battles when all other options are not working, which means that the ideologues of this process are ready to do anything to achieve their goals."
At the time of writing, the police had made more than 167 arrests at the protests.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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