Russia rejects Western criticism over Navalny’s prison term

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities have shrugged off protests against the jailing of top Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny and rejected Western criticism as “hysterics” as activists reported more than 1,400 new arrests. A Moscow court on Tuesday ordered Navalny to prison for more than 2 1/2 years, finding that he violated the terms of his probation while recuperating in Germany from a nerve-agent poisoning. The ruling immediately ignited protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg that followed massive rallies over the past two weekends. Speaking in court, Navalny denounced the accusations against him as fabricated and driven by President Vladimir Putin’s “fear and hatred.” He said the Russian leader will go down in history as a “poisoner.”