Home » Alexei Navalny’s chief of staff beaten with meat tenderiser by ‘Putin henchmen’

Alexei Navalny’s chief of staff beaten with meat tenderiser by ‘Putin henchmen’

by Marko Florentino
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Gitanas Nauseda, Lithuania’s president, said the attack was clearly pre-planned and tied in with other Russian provocations against Lithuania, which is a fierce critic of the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“I can only say one thing to Putin – nobody is afraid of you here,” Mr Nauseda said.

Lithuania’s State Security Department counter-intelligence agency agreed that the attack was probably carried out to stop the opposition from influencing the presidential election.

The Kremlin views Navalny’s team as “the most dangerous opposition force capable of exerting real influence on Russia’s internal processes”, it said.

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s foreign minister, called the attack “shocking.” He wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Relevant authorities are at work. Perpetrators will have to answer for their crime.”

Renatas Pozela, the Baltic state’s police commissioner, said “huge resources” were being devoted to investigate the assault.

He insisted that the attack did not mean that the European Union and Nato country of 2.8 million people, which borders Russia and Belarus and has become a base for Russian and Belarusian opposition figures, was no longer safe.

After returning home from hospital, Mr Volkov, whose arm was in a sling, posted a video on social media in which he vowed to continue the fight against Putin.

He called on Russians to protest peacefully against Putin on election day by heading for polling stations at midday on Sunday, the final day of voting in the presidential election.

“We have to do something, right?” he said.

Mr Volkov’s wife Anna Biryukova, who is also part of Mr Navalny’s team, said her husband was unable to walk because of the injuries to his leg.

“We will all work even more. And with even greater anger,” she said on social media.

Kara McDonald, the US ambassador to Lithuania, said on social media she was “shocked” by the news of the attack on Volkov.

She said: “His resilience and courage in the face of recent attempts to silence and intimidate him are inspiring. The Navalny team remains an outspoken voice against Kremlin repression and brutality.”

Mr Volkov used to be in charge of Mr Navalny’s regional offices and election campaigns. Mr Navalny ran for mayor of Moscow in 2013 and sought to challenge Putin in the 2018 presidential election.

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