Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says he has been charged in a new criminal case and faces “an additional 15 years” of his existing sentence if found guilty.
Mr. Navalny has been outspoken against President Vladimir Putin and has in March was sentenced to 9 years in prison after he was found guilty of large-scale fraud and contempt of the court.
Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, previously described the allegations as suspicious.
Mr. Navalny, 45, wrote about the new allegations on Twitter on Tuesday, saying he had been charged with creating an extremist organization and inciting hatred towards the authorities.
“It turned out that I had created an extremist group to incite hatred against officials and oligarchs,” he said.
“And when they put me in jail, I dared to complain about it (make me silly) and call for protests.
“So they had to add 15 years in prison for me.”
There was no immediate confirmation of the new charges.
A strong critic of the Putin regime
Mr Navalny, who was born near Moscow in the Soviet Union, had long been Putin’s most vocal critic in Russia.
In June last year, a Russian court Prohibited groups related to Mr Navalny after declaring them “radical”.
After the invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin accelerated its decades-long campaign to quell and silence Russia’s domestic opposition.
Mr Navalny has spoken out against the war, attacking Mr Putin in court and calling the invasion “stupid” and “built on lies”.
While serving a prison sentence, he urge compatriots to organize daily rallies.
Arrest and Imprisonment
He was arrested in January 2021 after returning to Russia from Germany, where he spent time recovering from a nerve agent poisoning.
The Russian opposition leader fell ill on a flight to Moscow and was later hospitalized found to have been poisoned with novichock on a campaign trip in Siberia.
Mr. Navalny blamed the poisoning on the Kremlin. Russian authorities have denied involvement.
He was brought to trial and sentenced to nine years in prison in March.
After the sentencing, he wrote on Twitter that Mr Putin was “afraid of the truth”.
Concerns about Mr. Navalny’s health have been raised. in prison, with reports that prison authorities had refused to give him appropriate medication and had not allowed his doctor to visit him behind bars.