Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation to lead rally

The Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), a Russian anti-corruption organisation, will lead a rally today to support incarcerated opposition leader Alexei

russian rally

Photo: Evan Gershkovich/ MT

The Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), a Russian anti-corruption organisation, will lead a rally today to support incarcerated opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The Russian government attracted international condemnation in August following Navalny’s poisoning with a nerve agent. After surviving the assassination attempt and recovering in Germany, Russian officials arrested Navalny upon his return at a Moscow airport for violating the terms of his probation. Since the incident, FBK protests have swept across major cities, leading to large-scale police arrests. Today’s protests aim to attract awareness towards the ill-treatment of Navalny, who was recently hospitalised after poor medical care and subsequent hunger strike.

Expect the rally to result in more arrests. The US and Europe have hardened their approach to Moscow following Navalny’s plight, coupled with Russia’s recent military build-up along the border with Ukraine. As a result, additional economic sanctions against Russia are possible, especially against Russia’s defence industry. Expect Russia-NATO relations to deteriorate further, as the UK is preparing to send warships to the Black Sea. Sanctions will also directly affect the ruble, which started the year strongly. In turn, Moscow will respond by expelling NATO member-state diplomats.

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