An ABC News reporter asked Russian leader Vladimir Putin as to why his political opponents end up dead or in prison.
Reporter Rachel Scott was given a chance to ask the Russian President during a press conference at the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva.
“The list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned, or jailed is long,” Scott said. “Alexei Navalny’s organization calls for free and fair elections and end to corruption.”
“But Russia has outlawed that organization, calling it extremist and you have now prevented anyone who supports [Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny] to run for office,” Scott continued. “So my question is, Mr President, what are you so afraid of?”
Putin then answered Scott’s question by attacking Navalny’s organization – whom he did not name – saying that it was an ‘extremist’ group that only wanted to cause ‘mass disorder’ and break laws.
Putin also did not answer the question directly by bringing up the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. He said the protests caused ‘disorder’ and ‘destruction’, and he does not want to see those types of demonstrations happen in Russia.
Scott was then given a chance to ask a follow-up question and continued to press Putin on the topic of why his political nemesis have been silenced.
“You didn’t answer my question, sir,” Scott said. “If all your political opponents are dead, in prison, poisoned — doesn’t that send a message that you don’t want a fair political fight?”
Putin’s responded by mentioning the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, falsely suggesting that those arrested for participating in the riot were no different than his political rivals that have been arrested in Russia.
“As for who is killing whom and throwing whom in jail, people came to the US Congress with political demands,” Putin added. “They face prison sentences of up to 20, maybe even 25 years.”
“They are being called domestic terrorists,” Putin said. “They are being accused of a number of other crimes.”
Meanwhile, Putin’s main political opponent Alexei Navalny has been serving his two-and-a-half-year prison sentence after Russia labeled his organization as an extremist group.
Just last year, Navalny was poisoned with a toxic chemical agent.
While the Kremlin denied the activist’s accusations, US intelligence officials concluded that Moscow was behind the attack.
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