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

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

A Russian court on Tuesday ordered the arrest in absentia of the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, part of a broader Kremlin crackdown on the opposition.

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court has ruled to arrest Yulia Navalnaya, who lives abroad, on charges of alleged involvement in an extremist group.

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

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

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

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