Russia issues arrest warrant for Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya

Leading dissident accused at Moscow court of participating in ‘extremist’ group

Tara Cobham
Wednesday 10 July 2024 00:05
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Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny
Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny (AFP via Getty Images)

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Russia has issued an arrest warrant for Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, over accusations she has participated in an “extremist” group.

A court in Moscow on Tuesday brought the charges against Ms Navalnaya, who lives in exile outside Russia, in absentia, meaning she would face certain arrest if she set foot in the country, with a two-month detention order imposed.

The leading dissident has stepped into the spotlight following her husband’s death in an Arctic penal colony in February, vowing to continue the fight for what Mr Navalny called the “beautiful Russia of the future”.

The late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (right) embraces his wife Yulia Navalnaya
The late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (right) embraces his wife Yulia Navalnaya (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Writing on X on Tuesday, Ms Navalnaya, 47, told her supporters to focus not on the court order against her, but on the battle against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

She said: “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 cosy 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.”

The Kremlin has denied ordering the killing of Mr Navalny.

Since her husband's death, Ms Navalnaya has met a number of senior Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden in San Francisco.

The US-based nonprofit group Human Rights Foundation named Ms Navalnaya its chair last week, and she said she would use the new role to step up the struggle waged by her husband against Putin.

"We will take on board everything that can be useful to fight Putin, to fight for the beautiful Russia of the future," Navalnaya said on X.

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