Director of FBK (Anti-Corruption Foundation)* Ivan Zhdanov and the Head of the network of Alexei Navalny’s regional headquarters Leonid Volkov have announced rallies in support of Alexei Navalny, who has been on a hunger strike in the Penal Colony No. 2 in Vladimir Oblast for 19 days. Their video message was published on Navalny's YouTube channel on April 18.
"There are circumstances under which you have to act quickly, otherwise things that cannot be undone will happen. There are times when you have to make decisions instantly. Because these decisions can change everything. And now is the time," says Leonid Volkov in the video.
"We decided not to wait for 500 thousand people to sign up on our website. Everything is going too fast and too bad. We cannot wait and put it off any longer. Extreme situations require extreme solutions," FBK’s* director Ivan Zhdanov explained.
The rallies are going to be held all over the country on April 21.
In March, FBK's* employees created a website called “Freedom to Navalny!”, where they have been collecting data on those who want to attend the rally in support of Navalny. The politician’s team promised to organize a protest as soon as 500 thousand people signed up on the site. As of April 18, more than 450 thousand people have signed up on the site.
Alexei Navalny went on a hunger strike in the colony on March 31, demanding an independent doctor’s help. The politician has been complaining of pain in his back and legs for several weeks. On April 15, Navalny's doctors reported a “rapid worsening” of the prisoner's tests. According to their estimates, the politician's condition is close to critical and threatens to be fatal. They demanded that the director of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kalashnikov urgently allow them to examine and treat the politician.
On April 16, the Moscow Prosecutor's office demanded that FBK* and Navalny's regional headquarters be designated as extremist organizations.