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Alexei Navalny spokeswoman jailed and schoolgirl interrogated in fresh free speech crackdown

The spokeswoman of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was jailed for nine days today to stop her from attending further protests as the Kremlin's free-speech crackdown extends to the country's young people.

The imprisonment of Kira Yarmysh today for multiple counts of organising a rally comes before pro-democracy Russians are due to take to the streets to protest the detention of Navalny tomorrow. 

Navalny, 44, was jailed for flouting terms of a suspended prison sentence when he returned to Russia after being treated in Berlin for suspected poisoning with the novichok nerve agent. He alleges the assassination attempted was ordered by President Vladimir Putin.   

Moscow police said today that any 'unsanctioned protests'  in his support will be 'immediately suppressed'.   

The Kremlin's warning against dissent extended to the country's children, who are being warned by teachers not to participate in the planned demonstrations. 

Russian schoolgirl Alina Morozova, thought to be 16 years old from Yaroslavl, a city four miles northeast of Moscow, was interrogated by police after posting a video showing herself taking down a portrait of President Vladimir Putin hanging in her classroom. 

Alexei Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh (left) and her attorney arrive at Moscow's Savelovsky District Court for a hearing into an administrative case of a repeated violation in organising  a rally. Yarmysh has been jailed for nine days 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny speaks to the media prior to a court session in 2019 Moscow, Russia

 According to reports, the 16-year-old has broken no law in removing the picture - and for now faces no punishment.

The Kremlin appeared deeply concerned today over under 18s becoming a driving force of protests tomorrow.    

Alina's video shows her removing Putin's portrait in front of other students from a classroom in her school.

She also posted a brief video from the police station. Her posts were made on social media app TikTok, where they have been seen by more than two million subscribers.

'The arrest of Alexei Navalny caused great resonance not only among young people, but also among the adults,' she told Open Media.

'On TikTok, this resonance is impossible not to notice - everything screams about it, even jokes about it appear.'

She said: 'I didn't think at all that the video would get two million views outright. The next day, my class teacher talked to me, then the school director. They all had different opinions about my act, and they have the right to do so. 

Alina Morozova, thought to be 16, posted a video in which she took down the photo of Vladimir Putin hanging in her classroom.  She also took a short video of herself at the police station while waiting to be interrogated by Russian police (pictured) 

According to reports, Alina has avoided punishment as there is no law banning people removing the president's image

'The portrait of the president, according to the law, is not a state symbol' - so it is not illegal to remove it. With my video, I expressed my civic position to which everyone at school has the right.'

Then her teachers reported her to the police.

'Someone from the school reported my video to the police,' she said. 'The police also had a preventive conversation with me.'

In another case, a schoolboy Andrey, 15, from Balashikha, hung a Navalny portrait on his wall - and was called for a 'talk' with police and a psychologist.

Alina said the police did not act against her - but elsewhere in Russia, Navalny supporters are being detained, and students are receiving strong and in some cases hysterical messages not to attend rallies tomorrow.

A teacher at Krasnoyarsk Aerospace College, Natalya Reshetnikova, was recorded by her students declaring: 'If you are legally charged for violating public order, it'll be a stinky stamp on all of your professional life.

'This will shut the doors to all decent companies - unless, of course, you aspire to chop carrots at KFC.'

In St Petersburg, parents were told: 'Protect your children from being sucked into destructive actions that can lead to psychological problems in the future and to unpredictable consequences in their lives today.'

Alexei Navalny was led away in handcuffs after being remanded in custody for 30 days by a makeshift court in Moscow

Navalny was taken to a police van and driven to prison a day after his dramatic return to Russia, which came five months after he was airlifted to Berlin in a coma following the poison plot against him  

A few hardy Navalny supporters gathered outside the police station in -20C temperatures - with more protests planned 

Putin's children's ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova claimed children were 'being used as a human shield, behind which somebody is planning to hide'.

Parents were worried and wanted to 'put an end to this bacchanalia', she claimed.

A parents' leader Olga Letkova called for TikTok to be banned in Russia.

'These are Western social networks, they manipulate our children in every possible way in order to bring them to the streets,' she said.

'At the protests, there will certainly be provocations and attempts to turn this into bloody massacres….

'It is obvious that this is a coup attempt that is being conducted in the West.'

Reports today say officials are seeking a 13-and-a-half year sentence for Navalny in new legal action brought against him.

He faces charges of stealing supporters' donations and the return of an old embezzlement accusation.

He and his aides say the legal action is 'political'.

Navalny has accused Putin of personally ordering his attempted assassination while also unleashing a video which accuses him of mammoth corruption.

It claimed he owned a £1 billion palace on the Black Sea, which the Kremlin denied.

Sergey Boyko, a Navalny supporter in Novosibirsk, was detained with his wife Elena ahead of the rallies, say reports. 

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the protests were illegal.

'There is only one possible opinion — the law absolutely must be complied with and illegal events cannot be organised, even less so with participation of the young people and children.'

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