Polish Nationals Apprehended in Connection with Assault on Ally of Navalny

Two individuals have been apprehended in Poland under suspicion of assaulting Leonid Volkov, a prominent associate of the late Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, as stated by the president of Lithuania. Volkov endured a brief hospitalization last month subsequent to an ambush outside his residence in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital. 

The assailant shattered Volkov’s car window and proceeded to strike him with a hammer, resulting in a broken left arm and damage to his left leg before fleeing. President Gitanas Nausėda, addressing reporters in Vilnius, acknowledged Poland’s efforts and expressed gratitude. 

Vehicle of Navalny Ally Volkov Removed After Hammer Attack in Vilnius (Credit: PETRAS MALUKAS / AFP)

Nausėda Commends Poland for Cooperation

“Two individuals have been detained in Poland on suspicion of assaulting Russian opposition leader Leonid Volkov,” Nausėda stated. “I extend my appreciation to the Republic of Poland for their commendable efforts. I have conferred with the Polish president, expressing gratitude for their exceptional cooperation.”

Lithuanian prosecutors confirmed that the two suspects, who are Polish citizens, have been charged with intentionally harming Volkov due to his political beliefs. They stated that the suspects will be extradited to Lithuania in May.

Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nausėda (Credit: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

Previously, Nausėda had attributed the attack to Russia, a sentiment echoed by Lithuanian counterintelligence, which implicated Russian special services.

In a message on X platform, Volkov expressed gratitude towards the Lithuanian and Polish law enforcement agencies, emphasizing the importance of uncovering the entire chain of command, “from Putin to the guy with the hammer.”

As one of Russia’s leading opposition figures, Volkov had been a close associate of Navalny, serving as his chief of staff and chair of his Anti-Corruption Foundation until 2023.

The assault marked the first direct targeting of Navalny’s allies since their departure from Russia over three years ago. It occurred roughly a month following Navalny’s mysterious demise in a remote Arctic penal colony.

Volkov and other members of the Navalny team have been residing in Lithuania since Russian authorities designated Navalny’s organizations as extremist entities in 2021.

Yulia Navalnaya Hires Bodyguard After Assault

Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Alexei Navalny, revealed in a recent Time magazine interview that the assault on Volkov compelled her to enlist the services of a bodyguard.

Yulia Navalnaya, widow of late Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. (Credit: LUKAS BARTH / AFP)

There seems to be a surge in covert activities by Moscow across Europe. Recently, Germany disclosed the detention of two German-Russian individuals suspected of orchestrating sabotage missions, including targeting US military installations. This was described by officials as a significant attempt to erode military assistance for Ukraine.

Simultaneously, Poland announced the apprehension of Polish nationals accused of assisting a Russian intelligence scheme to assassinate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Arit Saha
Arit Saha
Arit Saha, an Economics graduate and budding content writer in Kolkata, deftly merges his passions for economics and global politics. He crafts engaging content weaving economic insights into geopolitical narratives. Contact: [email protected]
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