Vladimir Putin calls Capitol riot a ‘stroll’

More than 300 Trump supporters have been charged with various criminal offences after ransacking of Capitol

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 12 March 2021 18:22

Related video: Russian Court Rejects Prison Release For Putin Foe Alexei Navalny

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Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Capitol riot a "stroll" on Thursday during a meeting on increasing investments in which he said his country is interested in stability within the United States.

“Some of the people who took a stroll to the US Congress – 150 people were arrested, they face imprisonment from 15 to 25 years. Will all these internal controversies end there or not? We do not know, but we want it to end, because we are interested in stable relations with all our main partners,” Mr Putin said according to the Associated Press.

More than 300 Trump supporters have been charged with various criminal offences after the ransacking of the Capitol, in which five people died.

Some of the accused individuals face charges that carry a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison, but are unlikely to serve that amount of time.

The rioters were trying to impede the congressional certification of the electoral college votes that would officially declare Joe Biden elected president, as members of the pro-Trump mob falsely believed the election had been stolen from Donald Trump.

Read more: Follow live updates on the Biden Administration and the Trump post-presidency

Mr Putin's comments come at a time he is repressing some of the most forceful protests against his leadership that his country has ever seen. The protests were sparked by the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was flown to Berlin for treatment.

The Kremlin denied involvement after it was found Mr Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, the trademark poison used by the Russian state since the era of the Soviet Union.

Mr Navalny was immediately arrested upon his return to Russia on charges that he violated parole conditions from a previous conviction. The charges and arrest are widely considered to be politically motivated.

Reuters reported on 12 March that Mr Navalny had been moved from jail to a penal colony where he will serve his two-and-a-half-year sentence.

Supporters of Mr Navalny claimed on Twitter that he was moved so that he wouldn't be able to meet with lawyers and family.

According to Reuters, a spokesperson for the Federal Penitentiary Service said Mr Navalny's location could not be revealed because of laws protecting personal information.

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