In an Instagram post, Alexey Navalny says he misses Russia and will return from Germany, where he was recovering from an alleged poisoning attack.
Kremlin enemy Alexey Navalny said on Wednesday he would return to Russia from Germany over the weekend, ignoring potential legal risks that could see him jailed.
Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s main critics, collapsed on a plane in August in what Western countries say was an attempt to assassinate him with a Novichok nerve agent.
He has since been recovering in Germany, where he was airlifted after falling ill on the plane.
Navalny has accused Russian authorities of attempting to kill him, but they deny any involvement in the incident and have urged a court to jail Navalny in absentia for allegedly breaking the terms of a suspended sentence handed down in 2014.
Announcing his intention to return on Sunday, Navalny accused Putin of trying to dissuade him from returning home with new court requests.
“It was never a question of whether to come back or not. Simply because I never left. I ended up in Germany after arriving in an intensive care unit for a reason: they tried to kill me, ”he wrote on Instagram, adding that he had probably almost completely recovered his health.
“[Putin’s] the servants are acting as usual by fabricating new criminal cases against me. But I’m not interested in what they’ll do to me. Russia is my country, Moscow is my city and I miss it.
Navalny’s announcement came a day later court documents showed The Russian authorities had asked for the cancellation of his suspended sentence, citing instead a custodial sentence.
At the end of December, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service demanded that Navalny report to its office in accordance with the terms of the 2014 conviction for embezzlement and money laundering. The service warned he could face jail time if he didn’t show up.
Navalny said his conditional sentence, which he describes as politically motivated, ended on December 30.
He and his allies accused the Russian authorities of trying to scare him back before the parliamentary elections scheduled for September.
The Kremlin said Navalny was free to return to Russia at any time like any other Russian citizen.