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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny pictured before his arrival back in Russia

Poisoned Putin critic accuses Kremlin of ‘highest level of lawlessness’ at first hearing, EU and US demand his release

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Putin critic Alexei Navalny has accused the Russian government of the “highest level of lawlessness” at his first hearing since his arrest.

Mr Navalny was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday, after spending five months in Germany recovering from novichok poisoning.

The 44-year-old, who is one of Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critics, blames Moscow for the attack that nearly killed him, although the Kremlin denies any involvement.

He appeared at an ad-hoc hearing – held in a police station in Khimki, outside Moscow – on Monday afternoon.

In a video posted to Twitter by his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh, Mr Navalny said: “I don’t understand what’s going on. A minute ago, I was brought from cell here to meet my lawyers.

Law enforcement officers stand guard before the expected arrival of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on a flight from the German capital Berlin at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia January 17, 2021

Crowds of supporters waited to welcome Mr Navalny home

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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