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Russia Extends Navalny Spokeswoman's House Arrest

Kira Yarmysh has been under house arrest since February after authorities accused her of breaching Covid-19 restrictions at a protest in Navalny's support. Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

A Moscow court on Wednesday extended by six months the house arrest of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny's spokeswoman, a top ally said.

Russia will hold parliamentary elections in September, and ahead of the polls authorities declared Navalny's organizations extremist and barred his allies from running.

Navalny's 31-year-old spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, has been under house arrest since February after authorities accused her of breaching coronavirus restrictions at a protest in support of the jailed Kremlin critic.

"Kira Yarmysh's house arrest has been extended by half a year," Navalny ally Ivan Zhdanov said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Her lawyer Veronika Polyakova told the Dozhd TV channel that the house arrest would last until Jan. 6.

Yarmysh is one of many Navalny allies that have faced pressure at home. 

Zhdanov, who heads Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, has been put on an international wanted list and is a target of several criminal probes. 

He and several other prominent Navalny allies have left Russia. 

Yarmysh has been Navalny's spokeswoman since 2014, after working with him when he ran in a Moscow mayoral election. 

Western countries have condemned Russia's branding of Navalny's organizations as extremist. 

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