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Exiled Navalny Aide Says Father Re-Arrested Days After Suspended Sentence

Ivan Zhdanov and his father Yury. Facebook / zhdanovivan

An exiled top associate of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny says Russian authorities have rearrested his elderly father just days after he was handed a suspended sentence for corruption charges his son says are politically motivated.

In an Instagram post Wednesday, Ivan Zhdanov said that his father Yury had been re-arrested and sent to pre-trial detention for allegedly breaking the terms of his suspended sentence.

Yury Zhdanov, 67, had been facing up to 10 years in prison on charges of misusing his professional obligations for personal gain by recommending social housing to a family that turned out to have previously received it. 

He was sentenced on Dec. 19 to a three-year suspended sentence by a court in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk. 

His son Ivan Zhdanov has said his father’s prosecution was retaliation for his own work as the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). 

The younger Zhdanov left Russia after criminal charges were filed against him in 2019.

His departure from Russia was one of the first in a recent wave of opposition emigrations that has seen the movement around Alexei Navalny hamstrung, with top organizers mostly now jailed or in exile.

Russian courts formally banned Navalny’s organizations including FBK as “extremist” in the summer, a move that forced them to disband.

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