Police detained top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Sunday when he flew back to Russia months after barely surviving a poisoning attack, prompting a new wave of Western condemnation.
Kremlin critic was rushed to a court hearing inside a police station on Monday, a day after he was detained at a Moscow airport when flying home for the first time since he was poisoned last summer.
Navalny was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport less than an hour after he flew in from Germany, where he had been recovering from the poisoning with a nerve agent “Novichok” he says was ordered by President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin denies any role.
Thousands had gathered at a different Moscow airport to greet his flight from Berlin, but the plane was diverted. Mr. Navalny blames Russian authorities for the attempt on his life last year. The Kremlin denies any role.
News of Mr. Navalny’s detention prompted condemnation from the European Union, France and Italy, which called for his immediate release.
The United States, the European Union, several EU governments, Canada, and a senior aide to US President-elect Joe Biden immediately called for his release, with some in the EU urging new sanctions against Moscow.