Assault on Navalny’s Associate in Lithuania: Political Motivation Suspected

An associate of the late Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Leonid Volkov, was assaulted outside his residence in Lithuania.

Volkov disclosed that his arm was fractured, and he was struck 15 times on the leg with a hammer during the attack.

While the identity of the perpetrator remains unknown, Volkov asserted that the assault was politically motivated.

He characterized the incident as “an obvious, typical, gangster greeting from Putin, from bandit St Petersburg,” without providing further details about the attacker.

Local law enforcement authorities have initiated an investigation into the assault, which occurred as Volkov arrived home in his car in Vilnius.

“Several theories have been proposed, and as the situation develops, we will be able to share more details,” stated Police Deputy Commissioner Saulijus Tamulevicius in an interview with LRT radio.

Ivan Zhdanov, another member of Navalny’s team, shared images on social media showing Mr. Volkov with a bloodied lower left leg and visible head bruises.

When asked if the assailant uttered anything during the attack, Mr. Zhdanov responded, “Everything occurred in silence… undoubtedly, this is a blatant political assault.”

Mr. Volkov’s wife, also a member of Navalny’s team, disclosed that her husband returned home from the hospital with a broken arm, emphasizing his inability to walk due to the hammer strikes to his leg.

“We will redouble our efforts. And with even greater determination,” Anna Biryukova posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

At 43 years old, Mr. Volkov has resided outside of Russia for several years to ensure his safety. He served as Navalny’s chief-of-staff until the untimely death of the opposition leader in a prison in the Russian Arctic last month.

Navalny had been sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges widely viewed as politically motivated.

Mr. Volkov himself faces various politically motivated charges in Russia. Previously, he held the position of chairman of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation until last year, when he stepped down following revelations that he had signed letters advocating for the EU to lift certain sanctions against Russia.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stated that the “perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions.”

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