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Yulia, widow of opposition leader, faces arrest warrant in Russia

Yulia, widow of opposition leader, faces arrest warrant in Russia Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Alexei Navalny, takes part in a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, Belgium February 19, 2024 (Reuters Photo)
By Agence France-Presse
Jul 9, 2024 7:26 PM

Russian authorities on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya, accusing the exiled opposition figure of participating in an “extremist organisation.”

A court stated that it had “approved the request of the investigators and decided a preventive measure in the form of detention for two months.” The charges come as part of a broader crackdown on dissent in Russia.

Navalnaya, who has vowed to continue the work of her late husband Alexei Navalny, the prominent opposition leader who died in an Arctic prison in February, condemned the warrant in a statement. “Vladimir Putin is a killer and a war criminal. He belongs in prison,” she declared.

Her team has also dismissed the allegations. Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s former chief of staff, took to X to criticize the move. “Navalnaya was arrested (in absentia!) for ‘being a member of an extremist community’ by the infamous Basmanny court of Moscow,” he wrote. “Quite a recognition of Yulia’s determination to continue Alexei’s fight!”

Navalny’s organisations have long been targeted by Russian authorities, branded as “extremist” and included on an official “terrorist” list. Despite the risks, Navalnaya, an economist, supported her husband through his activism, even flying him out of the country for medical treatment when he was poisoned. They both returned to Moscow in 2021, fully aware that Navalny would face imprisonment.

Since her husband’s death, Navalnaya has taken up his mantle, advocating against President Putin’s government from abroad. During the Russian elections in March, she called for mass protests, urging citizens to form long queues outside voting stations as a form of resistance.

Last Updated:  Jul 9, 2024 7:26 PM