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Russia Issues Arrest Warrants for Exiled Navalny Aides

Maria Pevchikh. European Commission

Russian authorities have issued arrest warrants for two exiled associates of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the independent Mediazona news website reported Thursday.

The Interior Ministry’s database of wanted persons lists investigator Maria Pevchikh and Navalny YouTube channel host Dmitry Nizovtsev, both of whom live outside Russia.

The database does not indicate which criminal charges Pevchikh and Nizovstev face in Russia.

The Navalny-affiliated news outlet Sirena reported in August 2022 that Pevchikh and Nizovtsev were among at least eight exiled associates of the opposition figure to be charged under Russia’s wartime censorship laws.

Pevchikh chairs the board of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which has published a series of high-profile investigations into alleged corruption among senior government figures.

Russia’s Supreme Court declared FBK an “extremist” organization in 2021, making any public support and cooperation with the organization liable to criminal prosecution. The ban was widely seen as retaliation for its work to expose corruption among Russia’s elites.

Many Navalny associates have fled Russia under threat of imprisonment amid a widening wartime crackdown on dissent.

Navalny, who was serving a nine-year prison sentence on fraud charges after his return to Russia in 2021 following hospitalization for suspected poisoning, was in August 2023 sentenced to 19 years in a restrictive prison for “extremism.”

Nizovtsev hosts the daily opposition news program “Popular Politics” on Navalny’s YouTube channel.

Pevchikh holds dual Russian-British citizenship and is believed to reside in the United Kingdom.

Navalny himself has been missing in prison for over two weeks.

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