Kremlin-linked official files lawsuit against opposition leader Navalny

Viktor Zolotov, Head of Rosgvardiya (Russia’s National Guard) has filed an anti-defamation lawsuit against opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The top official expects that the court will make Navalny pay 1 mln Russian rubles for ‘moral damage’ and refute information about deliveries of food products to Rosgvardiya. The Prosecutor’s Office has already launched a probe into the case.

“In particular, the question is information about property and superiors who, as Navalny said, eat the employees of house and home,” Zolotov’s defense lawyer Shota Gorgadze said.

According to him, if Zolotov wins, he will donate the compensation to one of the orphanages.

“It is very funny. Yesterday the FSB [Federal Security Service] confirmed the findings of our investigation and called Rosdvardiya’s contract for the purchase of food ‘corruption-prone’. And today, its head is filing a lawsuit against me. Why not against the FSB?” Navalny said on Twitter.

In September, Viktor Zolotov officially challenged the oppositionist who accused him of being involved in corruption practices. According to the Anti-Corruption Foundation led by Alexei Navalny, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave the exclusive right to deliver food products for 340,000 Rosgvardiya employees to Friendship of Peoples, the company run by Viktor Zolotov’s former colleague. The firm buys products at inflated prices, the Foundation stated presenting the results of their investigation into Zolotov’s case.

In response, General Zolotov promised to make a ‘juicy steak’ of Alexei Navalny and called him a ‘creature from a US tube’.

In late August, Navalny was arrested for 30 days. It was a punitive measure for his contributing to and participating in January’s rally ‘Voters’ Strike’. Apparently, the Russian authorities decided to prevent him from showing up at the protest rallies against the pension reform in early September. They also wanted to silence him for the period of Putin’s voicing the plan of a ‘softer’ version of the reform.

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