Ilya Yashin, a prominent figure in Russia's opposition movement, is to deliver a presentation in Tallinn this afternoon covering the latest political developments and the state of human rights in his country.
The lecture, entitled "Russia 2012: A Crushed Constitution and a Police State," is part of the "Voices of Russia" discussion series organized by the Open Estonia Foundation.
In an interview given to ETV on Wednesday, the 29-year-old co-founder of the Solidarnost movement said that he wanted to highlight for Europe the situation of political prisoners in his country, and spoke about the plight of Alexei Navalny, a high-profile opposition leader currently on trial for embezzlement in Kirov in what is widely seen as a political attempt to shut down his activities, including his bid for the presidency.
"Objectively, [Vladimir] Putin has named Alexei Navalby as his main opponent because practically the entire weight of the state apparatus has been thrown against him - there are four criminal cases against him. Now, one criminal trial has started and others are not far off," he said. "
"In this way the power is clearly demonstrating that it fears Navalny most of all, and it means that he has the greatest political prospects. Remember the late 1980s, when the persecution of Boris Yeltsin ended with him becoming president," he said.
The Open Estonia Foundation, in its statement, noted that Yashin's lecture is to come just prior to the May 6, one-year anniversary of the Bolotnaya Square demonstrations in Moscow, which has led to a political crackdown involving criminal charges being brought against numerous activists.