Moscow: On Tuesday, imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called for a systematic crackdown on Russian oligarchs who back Vladimir Putin’s military campaign in Ukraine.
In a lengthy social media post, he claimed that only 46 of the 200 richest Russians listed by Forbes have been identified by Western sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, or the United Kingdom.
“That doesn’t sound very much like an all-out war on Putin’s oligarchs to me,” Navalny said.
He claimed that Alexei Miller, the CEO of the enormous Russian gas company Gazprom, was still exempt from EU sanctions.
Roman Abramovich, a well-known Russian oligarch and former owner of the Chelsea football club, has so far evaded US sanctions, according to Navalny, even though his companies are “supplying metal to the Russian defence ministry.”
“We can’t expect a split among Putin’s elite on the issue of war if, despite a lot of chatter, we still don’t use the stick against them, while allowing them to keep all their carrots,” he stated
Further adding “I call on all voters and legislators in the EU, UK, US and Canada to put pressure on the executive branch and force them to stop engaging in demagoguery and urgently get down to massive personal sanctions against Putin’s thieves.”
Additionally, he proposed a “20-year” travel ban for anyone supporting the Russian military offensive in Ukraine from the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom.
In a penal colony not far from the Russian town of Vladimir, Navalny is incarcerated for nine years on embezzlement charges that he and his allies claim are politically driven.
But he has kept communicating with his attorneys.
46-year-old Navalny gained notoriety as an anti-corruption blogger and organised anti-government demonstrations across Russia before he was imprisoned.
He struggled to make it through a poisoning attack in 2020, which he has attributed to the Russian government but which the Russian government has denied any participation in.
After returning from treatment in Germany last year, he was detained, which sparked widespread international condemnation. His anti-corruption agency has compiled a list of almost 6,000 officials it accuses of supporting The Kremlin’s activity in neighbouring Ukraine.
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