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Alexei Navalny ally Leonid Volkov attacked with hammer exterior his house | World Information

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A protracted-time ally of the late Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny has been attacked with a hammer close to his house within the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

Lithuanian police are investigating the assault on 43-year-old Leonid Volkov because it stays unclear who carried it out – and their motive.

A pine forest close to Mr Volkov’s home was cordoned off by police, and officers with canine and flashlights had been seen looking the realm on Tuesday night time.

Ukraine-Russia struggle newest: Armed groups ‘invade’ Russia

The highway exterior Mr Volkov’s home within the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Pic: Reuters

Mr Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh mentioned the attacker smashed a window of Mr Volkov’s automotive, sprayed tear gasoline into his eyes and began hitting him with a hammer.

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She posted a picture on social media platform X displaying Mr Volkov on an ambulance stretcher.

Ivan Zhdanov, one other outstanding ally of Mr Navalny, posted photographs on his Telegram account displaying Mr Volkov with a bruise on his brow, blood coming from a leg wound, and a automobile with harm to the motive force’s door and window.

Mr Volkov’s spouse mentioned he had returned house from hospital with a damaged arm and was unable to stroll.

“The selection between operating to your husband who was attacked or not leaving your sleeping youngsters alone is disgusting. I would not want it on anybody,” she wrote on X.

“We are going to all work even tougher. And even angrier.”

‘We are going to all be killed’

Mr Volkov was once in command of Mr Navalny’s regional workplaces and election campaigns – Mr Navalny ran for mayor of Moscow in 2013 and sought to problem Russian President Vladimir Putin within the 2018 presidential election.

He left Russia a number of years in the past beneath stress from the authorities.

He and his group launched a venture final 12 months known as Navalny’s Campaigning Machine with the aim of speaking to as many Russians as potential, both by cellphone or on-line, and turning them towards Mr Putin forward of the 15-17 March presidential election.

Russian unbiased information outlet Meduza mentioned it interviewed Mr Volkov a number of hours earlier than the assault and requested him concerning the dangers Mr Navalny’s aides confronted.

“The important thing threat is that we are going to all be killed,” it quoted Mr Volkov as saying.

Leonid Volkov. Pic: Reuters
Mr Volkov left Russia a number of years in the past. Pic: Reuters

Lithuania’s overseas affairs minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who additionally leads Homeland Union, the ruling social gathering, described the assault as “surprising”.

“Perpetrators should reply for his or her crime,” he wrote on X.

A big a part of Mr Navalny’s political group, the Anti-Corruption Basis, which incorporates Mr Volkov, are residing in European Union and NATO member Lithuania after fleeing Russia.

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Navalny: ‘Those that resist face the implications’

Mr Navalny, 47, was a high-profile and vocal critic of President Putin and had been serving a 19-year jail time period when he died in an Arctic penal colony final month.

The 47-year-old had been behind bars since January 2021, when he returned to Moscow after recovering in Germany from nerve agent poisoning, which he blamed on the Kremlin.

Western leaders have made clear they maintain the Russian regime finally answerable for his dying.

Putin gives an interview to Russia's state RIA news agency and Rossiya-1 television in Moscow, Russia. Pic: Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via Reauters
Mr Putin offers an interview to Russia’s state RIA information company and Rossiya-1 tv in Moscow, Russia. Pic: Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool through Reauters

Putin says Russia is able to use nuclear weapons

The assault on Mr Volkov comes as Mr Putin mentioned he was prepared to make use of nuclear weapons if there was a risk to his nation’s statehood, sovereignty or independence.

In an interview with Russian state tv launched on Wednesday, he mentioned he hoped the US would keep away from any escalation that would set off a nuclear struggle, however emphasised Russia’s nuclear forces are prepared for it.

Requested if he has thought-about utilizing nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the Russian chief mentioned there had been no want.

He additionally asserted Moscow would obtain its targets in Ukraine and held the door open for talks, stressing any deal would require agency ensures from the West.

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