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Russian court orders arrest of Yulia Navalnaya in absentia

A Moscow court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. She is to be held in absentia for two months, as the court accused her of being a member of an "extremist" group while residing outside Russia.

Reuters WORLD
Published July 09,2024

A court in Moscow on Tuesday ordered Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, arrested in absentia for two months.

The court accused Navalnaya, who lives outside Russia, of participating in an "extremist" group. The decision means she would face certain arrest if she set foot in the country.

Navalnaya, 47, has stepped into the spotlight following her husband's death in an Arctic penal colony in February and said she will continue the fight for what Navalny called the "beautiful Russia of the future."

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

"When you write about this, please don't 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 (penal) colony and the same 2 by 3 metre cell in which he killed Alexei."

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

The U.S.-based nonprofit group Human Rights Foundation named Navalnaya its chair last week, and she said she would use the new role to step up her 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.