A Russian woman who was working in the central city of Saratov with supporters of imprisoned Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny said she did. Obtained political asylum in the Netherlands.
Olga Kuznetsova wrote on Instagram on December 15 that she was granted asylum, but did not say when. It was not clear when she left Russia.
Kuznetsova worked as a volunteer for a group of Navalny supporters in Saratov. She said that FSB officers tried to recruit her as an informant in the summer of 2020. When she refused, she was threatened with criminal charges.
Later that year, law enforcement officers searched her home. Her bank accounts were then frozen and she was questioned after she participated in a seminar organized by the pro-democracy organization Open Russia.
Several of Navalny’s former colleagues fled the country for fear of arrest after a Moscow court in June labeled all organizations linked to him as extremist.
Last week, Alexander Chernikov, the former head of Navalny’s network of regional campaign groups in the far west of Kaliningrad, said he and his family were in the United States, where they applied for political asylum.
According to Chernikov, he was questioned twice by Russian investigators in an “extremism case” following the June ruling, which effectively bans all organizations linked to Navalny.
In October, Sergei Boyko, the former head of the Navalny Network of Regional Circles in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, who is also a member of the Novosibirsk City Council, wrote on Twitter that he and his family would not return to Russia from a business. A trip to an unspecified country because he fears persecution.
Boyko said he decided not to return to Russia after the arrest of Lilia Shanysheva, the former head of Navalny’s support group in the city of Ufa.
Shanisheva was arrested in Bashkortostan in November on charges of extremism. She was later transferred to a detention center in Moscow, where she is expected to remain in detention until at least January 9.
In another case last month, Irina Fatinova, head of the Navalny Network of Regional Circles in St. Petersburg, said: I left Russia for an unspecified country. Fatinova also said that she decided to leave Russia after Chanicheva’s arrest.
Navalny has been in prison since February, while several of his other comrades are accused of founding an extremist group.
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