Russian court orders arrest of Yulia Navalnaya

A court in Moscow has issued an arrest warrant for the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on charges of extremism, according to state media.

The charges brought against Yulia Navalnaya, who lives outside Russia, in absentia are to do with her alleged “participation in an extremist society”, Tass news agency said.

The opposition leader – Russia’s most significant for the past decade – died in an Arctic Circle jail of natural causes, according to Russian authorities. Mr Navalny had been serving 19 years on extremism charges that were widely seen as politically motivated.

But his widow accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of killing him.

In response to the arrest warrant, she posted on X: “When you write about this, please do not 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 colony and the same two-by-three-metre cell in which he killed Alexei.”

The Moscow court ruled that Ms Navalnaya, who has vowed to continue the work of her husband, should be remanded in custody and she was declared wanted.

The decision means she would face arrest if she set foot in Russia.

The charges may be linked to a Moscow court ruling in June 2021 which outlawed three organisations linked to Mr Navalny, labelling them “extremists”.

Ms Navalnaya was unable to attend his funeral in March.

This month, she was elected to chair the US-based Human Rights Foundation – a non-profit organisation working to promote and protect human rights across the world.

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