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Ukraine war: Russian opposition leader Navalny calls for daily protests against ‘insane czar’


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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has urged the people of his country to stage daily protests and calls President Vladimir Putin an “obviously insane czar” for his invasion of Ukraine.  

The protests in Russia started immediately and continued despite a swift and severe crackdown by police in every major city, including the capital of Moscow and the city of St. Petersburg. The arrests come as Russian leaders continue to be frustrated by slower-than-expected gains in their invasion of Ukraine, according to American officials.

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In a long series of tweets posted Wednesday by his spokesman, Navalny called for his people to avoid turning into a “nation of frightened silent people” and instead “fight for peace.” 

“I call on everyone to take to the streets and fight for peace,” he wrote. “Putin is not Russia. And if there is anything in Russia right now that you can be most proud of, it is those 6824 people who were detained because – without any call – they took to the streets with placards saying ‘No War’.”

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He extended his call to individuals in “Belarus or on the other side of the planet,” saying the protests should happen every weekday and midday on “weekends and holidays.” 

“We must, gritting our teeth and overcoming fear, come out and demand an end to the war,” he stressed. “Each arrested person must be replaced by two newcomers.” 

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“Everything has a price, and now, in the spring of 2022, we must pay this price.” 

Navalny has stood as the main opposition to Putin’s regime within Russia, posing such a perceived threat to the president that he was poisoned with a nerve agent and subsequently arrested. He now sits in jail for parole violations, but he remains as outspoken as ever. 

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Independent Russian watchdog group OVD-info has tracked the number of arrested individuals and counted 6858 as of Mar. 2, seven days after Russia invaded Ukraine.  

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