Navalny ally accuses ‘Putin’s henchmen’ of hammer attack, but vows not to give up

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Leonid Volkov, nan precocious Russian guidance leader Alexei Navalny’s close subordinate and apical strategist, accused Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “henchmen” of being down a brutal attack that near him hospitalized successful Lithuania’s superior and vowed to “not springiness up.”

Police said an assailant attacked Volkov connected Tuesday arsenic he arrived successful a car astatine his Vilnius home, wherever he lives successful exile. The attacker smashed 1 of his car’s windows, sprayed tear state into his eyes and deed him pinch a hammer, constabulary said.

Volkov suffered a surgery limb “and for now he cannot locomotion because of nan terrible bruising from nan hammer blows,” according to Navalny’s The Anti-Corruption Foundation.

He was hospitalized, but later released, and vowed Wednesday to support up his work.

“We will work, we will not springiness up,” 43-year-old Volkov said successful a short video posted connected Telegram connected Wednesday, speaking pinch his limb bandaged and successful a sling.

Navalny state attacked successful LithuaniaLeonid Volkov, a longtime state of nan precocious Russian guidance leader Alexei Navalny was assaulted pinch a hammer and tear state while successful his car.Ivan Zhdanov / Team Navalny / Twitter

“It was a characteristic bandit greeting from Putin’s henchmen.” This seemed to beryllium a reference to some Putin’s thuggish style and his stint arsenic a lawman politician of St. Petersburg successful nan 1990s erstwhile it was considered 1 of nan astir criminal cities successful Russia.

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s overseas minister, called nan onslaught “shocking.” He wrote connected X, formerly Twitter: “Relevant authorities are astatine work. Perpetrators will person to reply for their crime.”

The onslaught took spot astir a period aft Navalny’s unexplained decease successful a distant Arctic penal colony. He was Russia’s best-known guidance figure and Putin’s fiercest critic. Navalny had been jailed since January 2021 and was serving a 19-year situation word location connected nan charges of extremism widely seen arsenic politically motivated.

Opposition figures and Western leaders laid nan blasted connected nan Kremlin for his decease — thing officials successful Moscow vehemently rejected.

Navalny state attacked successful LithuaniaThe smashed model of a conveyance wherever Volkov was assaulted.Ivan Zhdanov / Team Navalny / Twitter

His ceremonial successful nan Russian superior connected March 1 drew thousands of supporters, a uncommon show of defiance successful Putin’s Russia amid an unabating and ruthless crackdown connected dissent, arsenic Navalny’s widow Yulia vowed to proceed her precocious husband’s work.

Volkov utilized to beryllium successful complaint of Navalny’s location offices and predetermination campaigns. Navalny ran for politician of Moscow successful 2013 and sought to situation Putin successful nan 2018 statesmanlike election. Volkov near Russia respective years agone nether unit from nan authorities.

Last year, Volkov and his squad launched a task called “Navalny’s Campaigning Machine,” aiming to interaction arsenic galore Russians arsenic possible, either by telephone aliases online, seeking to move them against Putin up of the March 15-17 statesmanlike election.

Not agelong earlier his death, Navalny urged supporters to flock to nan polls astatine noon connected nan last time of voting to show their discontent pinch nan Kremlin. His friends person been actively promoting nan strategy, dubbed “Noon Against Putin,” successful caller weeks.

Russian independent news outlet Meduza said it had interviewed Volkov respective hours earlier nan onslaught and asked him astir “The cardinal consequence is that we will each beryllium killed,” Meduza quoted Volkov arsenic saying.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press