A Russian court this morning jailed charismatic opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, 40, to 15-days in jail after he was arrested on Sunday, in Moscow, heading to one of numerous anti-corruption protests demonstrations that drew tens of thousands of people across Russia from the capital to St. Petersburg, to Vladivostok, to Novosibirsk, to Tomsk and as far away as the western city of Chita, in Siberia and stretching to the southern Dagestan capital of Makhachkala.
The Associated Press(AP) described Sunday's Russian anti-government and anti-corruption demonstrations as "the biggest show of defiance since 2011-2012 anti-government protests."
Navalny, who's been twice convicted on politically motivated fraud and embezzlement charges and is currently serving a suspended sentence, has shown no softening in his criticism of Russian government corruption. He organized Sunday's demonstrations before being arrested and subsequently jailed, this morning for resisting police orders. Before going to jail, Navalny Tweeted: " A time will come when we'll put them on trial too - and that time, it will be fair," he observed about Russian judges.
After a judge denied motion after motion at his hearing this morning, the AP cited Navalny: "Even the slightest illusion of fair justice is absent here...the people demand political representation and I strive to be their political representative." He intends to run for the Russian presidency in 2018.
But Navalny's jailing, is reminiscent of the soviet area treatment of dissent and Vladimir Putin's present control and influence over Russia which he would like to export to western nations, including the United States(US).
Human rights observers reported that some 1,000 protesters were arrested in Sunday's demonstrations, including 13 associates of Navalny, who were taken into custody at their office as they were setting up and monitoring webcast of the Moscow rally, the AP reported. Strangely, Russian state media failed to mention anything of the protests...typical of the soviet era, today's circumstances and all places under Putin's sphere of influence.