Russia

Prominent Navalny ally Sobol wanted by Russian police: reports

Russian police have reportedly declared a close ally of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny as a wanted woman.

Government-owned Russian news agency TASS reported that Lyubov Sobol, a prominent opposition politician, was placed on Russia's wanted list, referencing the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs database.

"Lyubov Sobol, born 13.09.1987, wanted over a Criminal Code article," the database said, according to TASS.

Sobol was sentenced to 18 months under parole-like restrictions in August for protesting against the government. Under the conditions, Sobol would have been forbidden from leaving her residence at night, attending large events or travelling outside of Moscow.

However, in September, the U.S. government-funded news outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported that Sobol had settled in Estonia after having fled Russia with her daughter shortly after her sentencing.

"She is going between a few places. She's also going elsewhere, outside of Estonia," Estonian media quoted a friend of Sobol as saying. The unidentified friend declined to share more information so as to not "hand out information to the Kremlin's butchers."

Many of Navalny's allies have escaped Russia and settled abroad, TASS reported in September.

Leonid Volkov, chief of staff for Navalny's 2018 presidential bid; Ivan Zhdanov, director of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was declared an extremist by the Russian government; and Kremlin critic Ruslan Shaveddinov have all reportedly settled outside Russia.

Navalny himself was arrested and sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison after returning to Russia, having traveled to Germany to recover from being poisoned with Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

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