Russia orders arrest of Navalny's widow Yulia Navalnaya

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A court in Russia on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the late opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, who died earlier this year in a Russian prison.

Navalnaya left Russia in 2021, and has lived in Germany since her husband’s death. She would face an immediate arrest if she returned to Russia after being added to an international wanted list, The New York Times reported.

Her husband died in a northern Russia penal colony in February and the circumstances surrounding his death have raised questions. Navalny was one of the most vocal opposition leaders against corruption in Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Navalnaya has accused Putin and the Russian government of killing her husband. She’s promised to carry on his opposition work.

The Basmanny District Court’s press office released a statement announcing the arrest order. It did not give a reason for the charges but it is likely tied to her work since his death.

Navalnaya’s spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, confirmed on the social media platform X that the court argues she had “participation in an extremist community.”

In her own post on X, Navalnaya addressed the arrest warrant and mocked the unusual steps in the warrant.

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

Navalny was serving out his 19-year sentence in Russia’s highest security prison near the Arctic Circle at the time of his death.

The Russian Federal Prison Service said he was out on a walk and suddenly lost consciousness and efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. His sudden death sparked concern of foul play among global leaders, including President Biden, who previously claimed “Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death.”

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