A prominent Russian opposition activist was arrested Monday near his home in Moscow and sentenced to 15 days in jail for allegedly disobeying a police order.
The arrest comes just hours after Vladimir Kara-Murza gave an interview to CNN in which he called the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin “murderous” and predicted the war in Ukraine would lead to Putin’s downfall.
“I have absolutely no doubt that the Putin regime will end over this war in Ukraine,” he told CNN, adding that it “doesn’t mean it’s going to happen tomorrow. The two main questions are time and price. And by price, I do not mean monetary — I mean the price of human blood and human lives, and it has already been horrendous. But the Putin regime will end over this, and there will be a democratic Russia after Putin.”
In 2015 and again in 2017, Kara-Murza claimed he had been poisoned by Putin’s government. He said the poisonings were a result of his effort to get the United States and Europe to sanction Putin and other Russian officials.
The first case reportedly left him with kidney failure.
“Twice in the last seven years, Russian authorities have tried to kill (Kara-Murza) for seeking personal sanctions against thieves and murderers and now they want to throw him in jail for calling their vile and bloody war a war. I demand his immediate release!” Kara-Murza’s wife, Yevgeniya, tweeted.
On Twitter Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was troubled by the arrest.
“We are monitoring this situation closely and urge his immediate release,” he added.
Kara-Murza’s lawyer said he will appeal the sentence.
In March, Russia passed strict laws making use of the words “war” or “invasion” to describe Russia’s action in Ukraine prosecutable.