Russia releases Alexei Navalny's wife detained during protests: State media

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Russia's authorities released on Sunday Yulia Navalnaya, wife of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny who was detained by police during protests demanding the release of her husband, state news agency TASS reported citing her attorney.

"Yulia Navalnaya was released from the police station on a recognizance to appear in court. She is charged under article 20.2 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences (violation of the procedure of organizing or holding a rally, demonstration, march or picket). The court session will be held tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.," attorney Svetlana Davydova told TASS.

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Yulia Navalny is facing an administrative arrest for a term of 15 days, TASS reported. She was detained on January 23 during a march on Matrosskaya Tishina detention center, where her husband is being kept.

Russian authorities mounted a massive effort to stem the tide of demonstrations after tens of thousands rallied across the country last weekend in the largest, most widespread show of discontent that Russia had seen in years.

Despite threats of jail terms, warnings to social media groups and tight police cordons, the protests again engulfed cities across Russia's 11 time zones on Sunday.

Police detained more than 4,700 people, according to OVD-Info, a group that monitors political arrests, surpassing some 4,000 detentions at the demonstrations across Russia on Jan. 23. Some protesters were beaten.

Police detain a man during a rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Saint Petersburg on January 31, 2021. (AFP)
Police detain a man during a rally in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Saint Petersburg on January 31, 2021. (AFP)

The 44-year-old Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator who is Putin's best-known critic, was arrested on January 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

Russian authorities have rejected the accusations. He was arrested for allegedly violating his parole conditions by not reporting for meetings with law enforcement when he was recuperating in Germany.

- With The Associated Press

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