Russian court orders arrest of opposition leader Navalny’s widow, who lives abroad

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A court in Russia on Tuesday convicted the widow of Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny arrested in absentia as part of a large-scale crackdown by the Kremlin on the opposition.

The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has decided to arrest Yulia Navalnaya, who lives abroad, on suspicion of involvement in an extremist group.

Navalny, the fiercest political foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in February in an Arctic prison while serving a prison sentence. 19-year prison sentence on charges of extremism, which he condemned as politically motivated.

Authorities said he fell ill after going for a walk, but gave no further details. Navalny was jailed after returning to Moscow in January 2021 from Germany, where he was recovering from a 2020 nerve agent poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin.

Navalnaya has accused Putin of her husband’s death and has vowed to continue his activities. Russian officials have vehemently denied involvement in the poisoning and death.

Her spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, described the court’s ruling in a post on the social media platform X as a recognition of Navalnaya’s “merit.”

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