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Russian Court Orders Arrest of Yulia Navalnaya, Widow of Putin’s Critic

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arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya
Yulia Navalnaya, widow of late Russian opposition figure| Reuters

A Moscow court has issued an arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya, widow of the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The order was given on charges of extremism.

The court accused Navalnaya, who lives outside Russia, of participating in an “extremist” group. This ruling means she would be arrested if she returnqs to Russia.

Navalnaya, 47, has taken a prominent role in opposition activities following her husband’s death in an Arctic penal colony in February. She has vowed to continue her husband’s fight for a “beautiful Russia of the future.”

In response to the court order, Navalnaya posted on social media platform X, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin  a criminal and advocating for his imprisonment in Russia.

“When you write about this, please don’t forget to write the main thing: Vladimir Putin is a murderer and a war criminal. His place is in prison, and not somewhere in The Hague, in a cozy cell with a TV, but in Russia – in the same (penal) colony and the same 2 by 3 metre cell in which he killed Alexei”, she wrote.

Alexei Navalny, who was serving a 19-year sentence on widely contested extremism charges, died in one of Russia’s toughest penal colonies. This happened in February and was confirmed by the prison service in the Yamalo-Nenets district.

According to reports from the prison service, Navalny fell ill after a walk on February 16, 2024. Despite the immediate intervention of an emergency medical team, he could not be revived. The Russian government has denied any involvement in his death.

Since her husband’s passing, Navalnaya has engaged with several senior Western leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, and was recently named chair of the U.S.-based Human Rights Foundation. She has pledged to intensify her efforts against Putin and continue her husband’s path.

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