Campaign diary

Navalny to sue Putin

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Alexei Navalny talks about Putin’s refusal to allow him to hold rallies in his video today

By Sarah Hurst

Alexei Navalny says he will sue Vladimir Putin and his administration for ordering regional authorities to refuse to host his rallies. First Navalny had trouble getting permission for rallies in cities of more than a million people, then cities of more than half a million. So he went to cities with populations of 300,000. But now no local authorities allow his rallies, Navalny wrote in a blog post with a video. They come up with excuses such as conflicting events or imaginary markets occupying the spaces Navalny asks to use, he said.

“In court we will present exhaustive evidence of how city administrations throughout the country are acting in an organised and synchronised way and under clear directions from Moscow,” Navalny wrote. “We will demand to question officials as witnesses and we will prove that all these illegal orders were given personally by Putin, no one else could do this,” he continued.

“Yes, yes, we know all about Russian courts, but it’s important to us to act strictly according to the law,” Navalny wrote. “No one other than us can stand in the way of this criminal gang,” he added on the video. Navalny will also continue encouraging regional businesspeople to invite him to hold rallies on their private property, he said.

This morning the pressure on Navalny’s campaign continued in another way with police arriving at the offices of his Foundation for Fighting Corruption ostensibly in connection with a lawsuit that oligarch Alisher Usmanov won against him. A judge ordered Navalny to delete parts of his video about Dmitri Medvedev about alleged gifts of property that Usmanov gave to Medvedev, but Navalny has not done so. Usmanov even briefly took up video blogging to express his disdain for Navalny.

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