National Security

Cotton: Putin’s Jailing of Opposition Leader Shows He Fears His Own People

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) / Getty

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said Sunday that the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny revealed yet again that Vladimir Putin is "afraid of his own people."

"Vladimir Putin has once again thrown Alexei Navalny in jail because he is afraid of his own people—and what they would do if they were free," Cotton said in a statement. "Every time he imprisons an opposition leader, it only shows the world just how corrupt and oppressive his regime truly is."

Navalny was taken into custody on Sunday during anti-Kremlin demonstration in Moscow, on the charge of illegally organizing a protest. According to CNN, he faces 30 days in detention and a fine if convicted.

Navalny is a longtime critic of Putin and has called for protests nationwide against what he calls rigged elections and a corrupt government.

"I am proud of all those who joined us today in any capacity: from Magadan to Sochi. From the FBK office to the headquarters in Kemerovo. From Krasnodar to Yakutsk, where the meeting took place at -40. These are real citizens," Navalny wrote on Facebook. "Be real citizens. Go out to the demo in your city."