Russian opposition leader’s allies face charges

Eight associates of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are under criminal investigation for allegedly spreading fake information about Russia’s army, which invaded Ukraine six months ago, one of the accused reported Tuesday.

Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokeswoman, said on the Telegram messaging app that she and the seven others are accused in connection with their comments on a YouTube channel about the alleged bombing of Ukrainian civilians by Russian soldiers and calls to set fire to Russian military enlistment offices.

Navalny was arrested in Russia in January 2021 upon returning from Germany, where he had been recuperating from nerve-agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin. He was given a 2½-year sentence for a parole violation.

In March, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of fraud and contempt of court, allegations he rejected as politically motivated and an attempt by the authorities to keep him behind bars for as long as possible.

Earlier this month, Navalny said prison officials ordered him to serve at least three days in solitary confinement, citing a minor infraction, in retaliation for his activism behind bars.

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