Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Baliffs Seize $460,000 From Navalny Ally

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti / TASS

Bailiffs on Monday seized $460,000 from bank accounts belonging to Russian opposition activist Lyubov Sobol, she said, nearly a year after a court-ordered damages from her and opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Sobol is a lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Foundation set up by Navalny, who is in a coma with suspected poisoning in hospital in Germany.

She tweeted that the full sum had been debited from her account, leaving her deep in the red.

"The bailiffs have seized an enforced gift from all my accounts," she wrote, adding: "How is your Monday morning going?"

The case concerned an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Foundation into a company that provides school meals, alleging that it was monopolizing the market and serving poor quality food that made children ill.

The Moskovsky Shkolnik (Moscow Schoolboy) company has been linked in media reports to businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, nicknamed "Putin's chef" because his company Konkord has done catering for the Kremlin.

The court in October last year ordered Navalny, Sobol and the Anti-Corruption Foundation to jointly pay almost 88 million rubles ($1.2 million) to Moskovsky Shkolnik.

Prigozhin said last week that he would personally claim the damages and wanted to "strip this group of unscrupulous people of everything down to their clothes and shoes."

Media reports have said Prigozhin funds Wagner, a private army of Russian mercenaries, which he denies.

While Prigozhin denies owning Moskovsky Shkolnik, he said last week that he transferred the 88 million rubles to the company and argued that Navalny and Sobol owed him personally.

Navalny formally closed the Anti-Corruption Foundation in July in a move to avoid paying its share of the court-ordered penalty.

Sobol, in addition to representing Navalny legally, produces his live YouTube channel.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.