According to his own words, the supporters of the Russian anti-corruption fighter and politician Alexei Navalny will demonstrate en masse on Wednesday for his release.
Demonstrations were said to occur in more than 70 places on the day President Putin delivered his annual speech, a sort of ‘speech from the throne, to parliament. Supporters argue that Navalny is in mortal danger due to his three-week hunger strike and should be quickly released from prison.
Authorities have said that they will maintain public order by all means and that unauthorized demonstrations are criminal offences.
Navalny is Putin’s primary political opponent. And with his years of campaigning against corruption and abuse of power, he has made many enemies in the circles of administrators and billionaires in and around the Kremlin. He has been attacked and, according to his supporters, is being held for politically motivated charges.
He was charged with fraud almost nine years ago. He eventually received a suspended prison sentence, but earlier this year, it was converted into an actual prison sentence of 2.5 years.