Politics

Moscow detains top Navalny associate

A top associate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been detained after doorstepping an alleged security operative who has inadvertently revealed details of Navalny’s supposed poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

Lyubov Sobol, a key figure in Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, was detained for 48 hours after a day of interrogation on charges of violent trespassing.

The move followed Sobol’s attempt on Monday to enter the Moscow apartment of the alleged operative, whom Navalny had previously duped into describing details of the alleged poisoning.

Lyubov Sobol, a key associate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, was detained. Credit: AP

Sobol has denied the accusations and insisted that she violated no law by ringing the doorbell to the apartment.

While Sobol was being questioned, the state Investigative Committee issued a statement accusing her of trespassing – charges her colleagues have rejected.

Earlier this week, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he identified as Konstantin Kudryavtsev and described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him with the Soviet-era Novichok agent in August and then tried to cover it up.

Navalny, who is convalescing in Germany, said he phoned the man hours before the investigative group Bellingcat released a report alleging that FSB operatives with specialised training in chemical weapons followed him for years and were in close vicinity when he was poisoned.

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