Moscow, 26 August 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny has given his first interview from his prison camp in Russia – and complained about his current conditions.
He is forced to watch state television and propaganda films for hours every day, the 45-year-old said in an interview with the New York Times, which published excerpts on Wednesday.
Reading or writing is forbidden during this time, he said. “You have to sit on a chair and look at the TV.”
A total of 54 handwritten pages with Navalny’s answers are said to have reached the journalists. His press spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, confirmed on Twitter that this was the first interview since his detention.
Navalny is considered the fiercest opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was arrested in Moscow on Jan. 17 following his return from Germany, where he had received treatment after a poison attack.
According to the verdict of the court case brought against him, he violated parole requirements in Russia during his time in Germany. The sentence was widely criticized internationally as politically motivated.
In the interview, he again called for tough sanctions against Russian oligarchs who support Putin and said the EU and US sanctions should not affect the ordinary Russian population.
“The Putin regime is a historical accident, not a legality,” Navalny wrote. “Sooner or later this mistake will be corrected and Russia will take a democratic, European path.”