Vladimir Putin

The Biden administration, signaling a tougher stance on Russia than under the Trump White House, announced Tuesday new sanctions targeting seven senior Kremlin officials in response to last year's poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Senior administration officials, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said the sanctions also include export controls on 14 parties — nine Russian, three German and one Swiss, and one government research institute. The names of the sanctioned officials and entities will be announced Tuesday afternoon, the officials said.

Amnesty International says it no longer considers jailed Russian anti-Kremlin activist Alexei Navalny a "prisoner of conscience," citing past comments he's made that "reach the threshold of advocacy of hatred."

After a crackdown on protests in Russia, allies of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny encouraged supporters to participate in a more muted form of solidarity and defiance.

Supporters of Navalny gathered near their homes and in apartment courtyards for Valentine's Day vigils, an act dubbed "Love Is Stronger than Fear," for the detained opposition leader. They were encouraged to gather outside for 15 minutes and post their participation to social media.

This week I got vaccinated with Sputnik V, the COVID-19 vaccine that Russian President Vladimir Putin is promoting as the best in the world.

As a resident of Moscow and a journalist, I'm entitled to the two-dose vaccine. So on Wednesday morning I walked up the street to City Polyclinic No. 5, a nondescript brick building in central Moscow, where I'd scheduled an appointment at 10:48 a.m.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

A Moscow judge ruled Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny must go to prison for violating the terms of a 2014 conviction. Navalny has called the old conviction politically motivated.

Police have detained more than 900 people who protested his sentencing, according to Reuters on Tuesday.

Prosecutors pushed to turn Navalny's 3.5-year suspended sentence into actual prison time, which the judge accepted, even though the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that Navalny had been tried unfairly.

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SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Alexei Navalny will remain in jail through at least Feb. 15, as a Moscow regional court rejected the Russian opposition leader's appeal of his detention. Navalny was arrested shortly after returning home from Germany, where he was treated for a near-fatal poisoning – an attack he blames on President Vladimir Putin's government.

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET

In his first phone call with Vladimir Putin since taking office, President Biden pressed his Russian counterpart on the detention of a leading Kremlin critic, the mass arrest of protesters and Russia's suspected involvement in a massive cyber breach in the United States.

Still, the two leaders did agree to extend the U.S.-Russia arms control deal, New START, which is set to expire Feb. 5.

Protests exploded across Russia over the weekend, fueled largely by videos posted to social media, despite attempts by the Russian government to censor content across various platforms. The protesters braved extreme cold, police brutality and mass arrests, calling for the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was detained last week shortly after returning to the country.

Updated Sunday at 12:15 p.m. ET

Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets in protest on Saturday to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, braving the threat of mass arrests in what were some of the largest demonstrations against the Kremlin in years.

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