| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s spokeswoman leaves Russia

Kira Yarmysh, the spokesperson for imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny, has left Russia, according to two unnamed sources quoted by Interfax on Monday.

According to one of the reports, Yarmysh has traveled to Helsinki, Finland’s capital. A request for comment from Yarmysh was not immediately returned.

After being found guilty of violating COVID-19 safety standards, a Russian court imposed 18-month limitations on her freedom of travel earlier this month.

Russian authorities have cracked down hard on the opposition before a parliamentary election next month, and many of Navalny’s most prominent allies have left Russia rather than face restrictions or jail at home.

The court ruling banned Yarmysh from leaving her home at night, from taking part in rallies, and from changing her home address without first notifying prison authorities.

She was found guilty of breaching COVID-19 safety rules over what police said was an illegal protest in support of Navalny last winter. She has said the charge was politically motivated and has appealed.

Navalny is serving 2-1/2 years in jail for parole violations in an embezzlement case he says was trumped up. Navalny’s allies accuse the authorities of using the law to crush dissenting voices.

  • Reuters