Russia points arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya

Russian authorities issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, on Tuesday.

A court in Moscow accused her of being part of an “extremist” group. She currently lives outside Russia but would face immediate arrest if she were to return.

Proof of Navalnaya’s ‘determination’

The court said it had “approved the request of the investigators and decided a preventive measure in the form of detention for two months.”

Navalnaya, 47, slammed the court’s decision, saying in a statement “Vladimir Putin is a killer and a war criminal. He belongs in prison.”

Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s former chief of staff, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the arrest warrant from the “infamous Basmanny court” showed “quite a recognition of Yulia’s determination to continue Alexei’s fight!”

Navalny’s organizations, which mainly target corruption, have been outlawed in Russia.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the arrest warrant against Navalnaya was “against the desire for freedom and democracy.”

“After the death of her husband Alexei Navalny, she carries on his legacy — and with her many Russians,” he wrote on X.

Kremlin going after another opposition figure

Navalnaya has vowed to continue the work of her late husband who was considered the leading opposition figure against President Vladimir Putin.

Yulia Navalnaya: Alexei’s memory ‘gives me strength’

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Navalny faced a similar arrest warrant while receiving treatment for Novichok poisoning in Berlin. When he returned to Russia, he was arrested and sentenced over extremism charges to a 19-year prison sentence.

Navalnaya, a trained economist, traveled with her late husband on that trip and returned with him to Moscow in 2021, knowing that he would be arrested.

He died in an Arctic prison in February this year. He was 47 years old.

Carrying on Navalny’s work

Since Navalny’s death, she has met with several world leaders, including US President Joe Biden.

During Russia’s recent presidential elections, widely panned as a foregone conclusion, Navalnaya called for protests outside of polling stations.

Navalnaya, along with the Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), won the DW Freedom of Speech in May.

“During these years, Putin has suppressed independent media. And he has tried to silence anyone who said what he didn’t like. But he failed. Yes, he killed my husband, Alexei Navalny. But he didn’t silence him and his ideas,” she said at the award ceremony in Berlin.

ab/wd (Reuters, AFP)