Russian opposition leader Navalny hit by cake attack

25th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny on Thursday said attackers threw two cakes in his face in Moscow, adding that the patisserie assault was linked to the Kremlin.

Navalny, a tireless critic of President Vladimir Putin, said the attack outside his office was carried out by "some jokers" who "chucked two cakes at me and legged it," posting a picture of his cream-smeared face on Instagram.

The lawyer and anti-corruption whistleblower who has exposed vast wealth of Russian officials and is spearheading the opposition challenge for parliamentary polls later this year, linked the attack to the Kremlin.

"Putin and (Prime Minister Dmitry) Medvedev see hurling cakes as the only way to respond to the challenges of the opposition," he wrote on Facebook.

Navalny earlier this month attempted to sue Putin for corruption, accusing him of ordering the release of huge loans to a firm owned by his son-in-law. A court threw out the lawsuit a day later, citing Putin's immunity as president.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Russia wrongfully convicted Navalny and his co-defendant in a 2013 embezzlement trial and ordered it to pay each of them compensation of 8,000 euros. Russia vowed to appeal the ruling.

Opposition supporters are preparing to mark Saturday's one-year anniversary of the shooting of politician Boris Nemtsov close to the Kremlin with a march through central Moscow.

Navalny's opposition colleague and former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov came under a similar pie-in-the-face attack two weeks ago when two men came up to him in a Moscow restaurant and threw a cake at him, shouting "Disgrace to Russia!" and "American agent!"

Kasyanov asked for a formal investigation but Russia's interior ministry ruled the incident did not count as a crime.

The cake attack on Kasyanov by men apparently from Russia's North Caucasus came after Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov posted a threatening Instagram image of Kasyanov in the crosshairs of a sniper's rifle.

© 2016 AFP

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