A court in Moscow issued an order on Tuesday for the arrest of Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as part of a sweeping Kremlin crackdown on critics of the Putin administration. The in-absentia order means that Navalnaya, who lives outside Russia, could be arrested when and if she returns to the country.

The order from Moscow’s Basmanny District Court charges Navalnaya, 47, with “participation in an extremist organization,” granting investigators authority to detain her for up to two months as a preventative measure should she step foot on Russian soil.

Alexey Navalny, a longtime political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died on February 16th in a Siberian penal colony where he was serving a 19-year sentence for a similar extremism charge. According to prison officials, Navalny collapsed during a walk on the prison grounds and did not regain consciousness despite attempts to resuscitate him. Authorities determined that the 47-year-old activist had died from natural causes, but his widow insisted that foul play had led to the collapse. Navalny had previously been targeted with a deadly nerve agent while in hiding outside of Russia, and his wife believed that a similar tactic had been used against him in the prison.

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As the United States imposed additional sanctions against Russia over Navalny’s death, Navalnaya promptly took her husband’s place as a leading voice against Putin, denouncing him as “a murderer and a war criminal” in social media posts.

Responding to the arrest order, she again denounced the Russian President, saying that he belongs in prison for his various crimes.

“His place is in prison, and not somewhere in The Hague, in a cozy cell with a TV, but in Russia – in the same colony and the same 2 by 3 meter cell in which he killed Alexei,” she wrote on X.

The exact nature of the charges against Navalnaya has not been specified, but they are likely connected to the recent designation of Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption as an extremist organization. A number of journalists have also been jailed on extremism charges for covering the issue in recent months.

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Valuetainment.com. Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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