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Russia Places Top Navalny Aide on Interstate Wanted List

Leonid Volkov faces criminal charges for allegedly inciting minors to participate in unsanctioned protests, which he denies. Evgenij Razumnyj / Vedomosti / TASS

Russia has issued an interstate arrest warrant for Leonid Volkov, the regional network coordinator for jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Interfax reported on Wednesday, citing the court press service. 

Volkov, who is currently based in Lithuania, faces criminal charges in Russia for allegedly inciting minors online to participate in unsanctioned protests last month. Several of Navalny's other aides and allies were jailed or placed under house arrest amid the recent wave of nationwide protests calling for the opposition leader’s release. 

 “This is a fictitious, nonexistent case. This is a PR campaign for the Investigative Committee. I absolutely don’t care,” Volkov told the RBC news website following the news. 

The interstate wanted list applies to members of the Commonwealth of Independent States collective of post-Soviet countries which does not include Lithuania, a European Union member.

In the Kremlin’s latest attempt to crack down on Russian opposition, law enforcement agencies have initiated about 50 criminal cases, including charges of hooliganism, violence against police officers and violations of sanitary rules.

According to the independent OVD-Info police monitor, more than 10,000 people were detained across Russia during the protests.

Volkov has called for new demonstrations this Sunday, with supporters asked to hold up their cellphone flashlights in residential courtyards for 15-minute intervals in order to avoid confrontations with riot police.

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