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Moscow Police Closes Investigation Into Green Paint Attack on Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny takes a selfie with supporters after an unknown assailant sprayed a bright green antiseptic on his face in a city of Barnaul, March 2017. Alexei Navalny

The Moscow prosecutor's office has ended an investigation into an attack on opposition politician and presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny, citing their inability to find the perpetrators, Navalny wrote on his blog on Thursday.

An attacker threw a green antiseptic, known as zelyonka, at Navalny’s face on April 27 as he was leaving the office of his Anti-Corruption Foundation. The politician partially lost his sight, had to be hospitalized, and later underwent eye surgery in Spain.

The decision to end the criminal case was made on June 13, a day after the Navalny-led opposition held unauthorized anti-corruption protests across the country.

The prosecutors also decided not to pass the criminal case to the Investigative Committee, according to a statement they sent to Navalny’s lawyer, Vadim Kobzev.

Navalny’s supporters later tracked down the attackers and identified them as the activists of the radical pro-Kremlin movement SERB, Alexander Petrunko and Alexei Kulakov. The SERB’s leader Igor Beketov denied the allegations, calling them “provocation.”

The end to the zelyonka investigation follows on a series of setbacks for Navalny.

There have been raids by law enforcement on several of Navalny’s campaign offices across Russia. In many cases, campaign material has been confiscated.

On Thursday, one of Navalny’s volunteers Alexander Turovsky, who says he was beaten during one such raid at the politician’s Moscow headquarters on July 6, wrote a revealing post on Facebook in which he voiced his disappointment with Navalny.

Navalny responded on his Facebook page that Turovsky’s account was probably hacked, but Turovsky later confirmed that he was the real author in an interview to news outlet Meduza.

“I didn’t feel any support from him,” he told Meduza, adding he felt “ignored.”

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