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Moscow court issues arrest warrant for Navalny widow Yulia Navalnaya

Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the late Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, speaks at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on February 28. A Moscow court issued an arrest warrant for her on Tuesday. File Photo by Ronald Wittek/EPA-EFE
Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the late Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, speaks at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on February 28. A Moscow court issued an arrest warrant for her on Tuesday. File Photo by Ronald Wittek/EPA-EFE

July 10 (UPI) -- A Moscow court issued an arrest warrant against Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The Basmanny District Court of Moscow approved the petition by the Main Investigative Directorate to issue the arrest warrant for Navalnaya for "participation in an extremist community," said Moscow's Court of General Jurisdiction in a translated message on Telegram.

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"The court granted the investigation's request and chose a preventive measure in the form of detention for a period of two months," the court said, noting that Navalnaya was not on a wanted list.

"The period is calculated from the month of extradition to the territory of the Russian Federation or from the moment of detention on the territory of the Russian Federation."

The charges brought in absentia against Navalnaya, who lives outside of Russia, mean she would be arrested if she returned to the country.

Navalnaya bristled at the news of the Moscow arrest warrant, targeting her criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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

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Navalny, one of Putin's harshest and most prominent critics died while serving a 19-year sentence on extremism charges in a Russian penal colony in February, with international leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden blaming Putin for his death.

Navalnaya charged that her husband had been tortured and starved before he died, but Russian officials said he died of natural causes.

Russian officials designated several organizations run by Navalny, including his Anti-Corruption Foundation, as "extremist" groups. That designation put all its workers and volunteers at risk of criminal prosecution.

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