Ally and spokeswoman, Navalny, arrested

In the wake of the large protests planned across Russia, the ally of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his 44-year-old spokeswoman were arrested.

Russian police raided several offices associated with imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Wednesday. According to members of his team, several of his employees have been arrested. On Wednesday, demonstrations are scheduled in cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg in support of the Kremlin critic. Navalny is on hunger strike and according to his supporters, in poor condition.

Lyubov Sobol, Navalny’s closest collaborator, and spokeswoman Kira Ermich, among others, was arrested. This is what lawyers Vladimir Voronin and Veronica Polyakova say on Twitter. According to the specialized non-governmental organization OVD-Info, home inspections were conducted in at least twenty Russian cities on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday’s demonstrations will take place on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual speech to Parliament, at a time when relations with the West are experiencing turbulent waters. The previous major protest movement in support of Navalny arrested more than 11,000 people in January.

• Navalny is “dying” from cell to hospital, calling his team to demonstrate

Navalny’s supporters staged protests across Russia on Wednesday to highlight Navalny’s deteriorating health in prison. Yesterday, Russian prison authorities transferred Navanli to a hospital in the penal colony of Vladimir. The health of the Russian opposition leader, who has been on hunger strike for three weeks, is rapidly deteriorating.

According to his doctors, he is swinging to the brink of death and will go into cardiac arrest “at any moment”.

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Megan Vasquez

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