Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny returned to Russia after his treatment in Germany, reports the news outlet Meduza.
As Navalny’s plane was approaching Moscow it had to change its route. Vnukovo Airport, where the flight was initially scheduled to arrive and where supporters of Navalny came to meet him, did not allow landing and the plane eventually landed at Sheremetyevo airport.
While the plane with Navalny was still in the air, mass detentions of oppositionist supporters and journalists took place at Vnukovo airport.
The plane with Navalny remained on the runway for about 25 minutes before the passengers could exit.
Alexey Navalny and his wife got off the plane and took a bus to the airport terminal.
"I can't say that it is my choice to return to Russia. There was no such question for even a second. They put the plane at risk. I'm perfectly happy to be here, it's my best day in five months. This is my home, I'm not afraid, I know I'm right, the criminal cases against me are fabricated," Navalny told reporters in the airport building.
Russian law enforcement officers detained Navalny and took him away after a short conversation at the passport control. At the same time, the security forces did not allow Navalny‘s lawyer to accompany him.
Задержание Алексея pic.twitter.com/q3mq4VZgBG— Кира Ярмыш (@Kira_Yarmysh) January 17, 2021
According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service said that Navalny was detained for evading registration at the criminal inspection center, which was required by his conditional sentence.
According to Interfax, Navalny has been wanted since December 29, 2020 and his fate should be determined by the court.