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A relative of Navalny attacked outside his home in Lithuania

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Leonid Volkov during an interview in Vilnius in September 2022

Agence France-Presse

Leonid Volkov, Russian opponent in exile and former right-hand man of Alexeï Navalny, was violently attacked Tuesday evening in front of his home in Vilnius, an attack described as “shocking” by the Lithuanian government.

Leonid Volkov has just been attacked outside his home , said Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's former spokesperson, who died in custody in Russia on February 16.

Someone broke a car window and the car crashed. sprayed tear gas in the eyes before starting to hit Leonid with a hammer.

A quote from Kira Yarmysh

Aged 43, Leonid Volkov is one of the main figures of the Russian opposition and was one of the lieutenants of Alexeï Navalny, who died on February 16 at the age of 47 in a penal colony of the #x27;Arctic where he was serving a 19-year prison sentence for extremism.

Taken to the emergency room, Mr. Volkov was finally able to return to his home, but is injured, his wife said Wednesday on the social network X. We are at home. Leonid's arm is broken and he cannot yet walk, wrote Anna Biryukova.

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She released photos showing the injuries suffered by the opponent , including a black eye, a red mark on his forehead and blood on one of his legs.

A Lithuanian police spokesman, Ramunas Matonis, confirmed to AFP that a Russian citizen was attacked near his home in the capital Vilnius at around 10 p.m. local time.

No suspect has been identified at this stage and more details on this attack must be communicated on Wednesday morning, the spokesperson said.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis condemned a shocking attack and assured, in a message on X, that its perpetrators will be held accountable for their crimes.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This attack comes almost a month after the death of Alexeï Navalny in a Russian prison in the Arctic and a few days before the presidential election in Russia, organized from Friday to Sunday, which should establish a new triumph of Vladimir Putin, for lack of real opponents.

Putin killed Navalny. And many other people before that.

A quote from Leonid Volkov on social media on Monday

Mr. Volkov was the opponent's former chief of staff. He also chaired the anti-corruption foundation founded by Mr. Navalny until 2023.

A NATO member country, Lithuania welcomes many Russians in exile and has been a strong supporter of Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.

Russian dissidents who have spoken out against the Kremlin often complain of being the target of threats and attacks.

A few hours Before his attack on Tuesday, Leonid Volkov told the independent Russian-language media Meduza that he was worried about his safety since the death of Alexeï Navalny.

The main risk now is that we will all be killed. For what? It's a pretty obvious thing, he said, according to Meduza.

Leonid Volkov went into exile in 2019 like other allies of Alexeï Navalny after the Russian authorities opened a criminal investigation targeting the opponent's anti-corruption foundation . The multiple lawsuits filed against Mr. Navalny had been widely denounced as a way of punishing him for his opposition to the Russian president.

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From right to left, Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, opposition candidate Ilya Yashin, Russian opposition activist Leonid Volkov and opposition candidate Vladimir Andreichenko speak to the press after the closing of polling stations in Kostroma, Russia, September 13, 2015. Since 2021, Moscow has been searching for Leonid Volkov for his role in the 2015 election. organization, with Mr. Navalny, of demonstrations against Russian power.

After the death of Vladimir Putin's number one opponent, about from which around forty countries, including the United States and those of the European Union, have requested an international investigation, Leonid Volkov promised that the Russian opponent's team would not give up not, because good always prevails over evil.

He called on Alexeï Navalny's supporters not to be discouraged . This is what he expects of us now. What he has dedicated his life to must win.

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