Russian authorities make ally of Kremlin foe Navalny their target before jail appeal
MOSCOW (RUSSIA) – Russian investigators said on Thursday they had opened a criminal case againsy Leonid Volkov, a close ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. This move was taken hours before a court hearing of an appeal against Navalny’s own jailing.
The case against Volkov, currently outside Russia, is part of a police clamp down targeting Navalny’s allies after tens of thousands of people protested on Saturday demanding that the Kremlin sets Navalny free from jail.
A court at 1100 GMT later on Thursday is likely to hear an appeal into the jailing of Navalny, currently serving a 30-day stint for allegedly violating parole which he denies.
The Investigative Committee, which probes serious crimes, accused Volkov in a statement of instigating teenagers to participating in what it said were illegal protests on Saturday.
The Interfax news agency cited a source on Thursday as saying that police had arrested a 20-year-old fugitive Chechen man who was shown in a footage getting involved in a brawl violently with riot police during Saturday’s protests.
Navalny’s supporters have plans to conduct new rallies this Sunday which according to the authorities is completely illegal.