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Poland Detains Suspects, Alleged Organizer in Attack on Navalny Ally Volkov

Leonid Volkov being loaded onto an ambulance after he was attacked. Ivan Zhdanov /

Three people have been detained in Poland in connection with the March attack on Leonid Volkov, an exiled ally of late Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, in Lithuania, Vilnius and Warsaw announced Friday.

Volkov, who has lived in exile since Moscow banned Navalny’s groups as “extremist” organizations in 2021, was in mid-March assaulted with a hammer outside his home in Vilnius, Lithuania, leaving him with a broken arm.

The suspected assailants were detained in Poland and will be handed over to Lithuania “after the completion of proceedings,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told reporters.

“I thank the Republic of Poland for the excellent work it has done. I have discussed this with the Polish president and thanked them for their excellent cooperation,” he said.

Later Friday, Poland's prime minister said the person who allegedly ordered the attack had also been arrested.

"A Belarusian working for the Russians, who ordered two Poles to carry out the attack against the Navalny ally has been arrested," Donald Tusk wrote on X, formerly Twitter, referring to Volkov.

"The assailants have already been detained," Tusk wrote, without providing further details.

Volkov, 43, said on social media that he did not know the details about the detention but credited the Lithuanian police for “energetic and persistent” investigative work.

Nauseda and Lithuania’s counter-intelligence service have accused Russian counterparts of orchestrating the attack on Volkov. The Kremlin has declined to comment on the attack.

Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya said this week that the attack on Volkov prompted her to hire a bodyguard.

“Alexei and I never had security, and I think I inherited some of that courage, that cavalier attitude from Alexei. But when you’re too cavalier, you can make a wrong move. So, for now, my colleagues have asked me to go around with a bodyguard,” Navalnaya told Time magazine.

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