Support The Moscow Times!

Navalny Ally Chanysheva Jailed 7.5 Years for ‘Extremism’

Lilia Chanysheva in court Wednesday. Team Navalny

A Russian court on Wednesday sentenced a former regional coordinator of jailed Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny to seven-and-a-half years in prison on charges of creating an extremist group. 

Lilia Chanysheva, 41, headed Navalny’s political office in the central Russian city of Ufa until it was forced to dissolve in 2021, when the authorities blacklisted Navalny’s activist network as “extremist.” 

On Wednesday, Ufa’s Kirov District Court found Chanysheva guilty and handed her a 7.5-year prison sentence, according to the regional news outlet Aspekty.

Prosecutors had requested a 12-year prison sentence for Chanysheva.

Chanysheva was filmed thanking her supporters after the verdict.

“This [sentencing] is much easier to handle with you. I really need your letters and postcards,” she said from inside a glass box where defendants are placed in the courtroom.

In her final statement to the court last month, Chanysheva said the “extremism” case against her was politically motivated.

“My political rights and the rights of my fellow citizens have been consistently violated. This shows that Putin has long wanted to eradicate any dissent […] for the sole purpose of retaining power in 2024,” she said.

Chanysheva was the first of Navalny’s associates to be arrested on “extremism” charges in November 2021. Most of his other key aides have fled Russia and now live in exile. 

Last year, Navalny’s team said Chanysheva faced up to 18 years in prison on two additional charges of “extremism” and one for creating an organization that “violates the rights of citizens.”

Russian state media reported in April that investigators had placed 11 people on an “international wanted list” in a criminal case linked to Navalny.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more