The Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation (FSIN) has put opposition politician and founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) Alexei Navalny on wanted list.
According to Mash Telegram channel, which has confirming documents at its disposal, the document that puts Navalny on wanted list is dated from December 29. The search case was filed on November 27. The ruling states that Navalny did not appear for hearings on the Yves Rocher case and ignored monitoring measures conducted by the criminal executive inspection of the Federal Penitentiary Service.
In addition, the ruling says that "during initial search measures, it was impossible to establish the whereabouts of the convict." At the same time, no official message about the start of the manhunt was released, the Telegram channel says.
Navalny's lawyer Vadim Kobzev confirmed the information about the manhunt for his client.
Earlier on Wednesday, Alexey Navalny, who is undergoing treatment in Germany after he was poisoned with a Novichol combat chemical agent, announced that he was going to come back to Russia on January 17.
"The question of whether to return or not never stood before me just because I did not leave. I found myself in Germany as they delivered me here in an intensive care box for one reason: they tried to kill me. I survived. And now Putin, who gave the order to kill me, is screeching all over his bunker and telling his servants to do everything so that I do not return," Navalny said adding that he bought an airplane ticket for Pobeda low-cost airline.
The same day it became known that Alexey Navalny was assigned a date to consider the plea from the Federal Penitentiary Service to replace his suspended sentence with a real one. The court also resumed the lawsuit against Navalny in connection with "libel against a veteran."
In addition, the Investigative Committee earlier opened a criminal case against Navalny for fraud. According to the IC, the foundations associated with the opposition activist, including the Anti-Corruption Foundation, collected over 588 million rubles in donations from citizens. The money was intended solely for the purpose of the foundations, but Navalny, together with "other individuals," allegedly spent 356 million rubles "to purchase personal property, material values and on other expenses (including holidays abroad)."
Flight DP-936, on which Alexey Navalny plans to return to Moscow, is to land at Vnukovo International Airport at 19:20 MSK on January 17. Navalny's team urged his supporters to meet the opposition activist at the airport.
"Now Putin is being hysterical now, he wants to urgently figure out a way how to put Alexey in jail. It depends only on us whether he can do it," Navalny's supporters said.
The return of Alexey Navalny puts the Kremlin in a difficult situation as both the arrest of the politician and his being at large create risks for the authorities.
Alexey Navalny, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, lapsed into a coma on board the plane and was hospitalized on August 20 in Omsk, Russia. Two days later, this co-activists and relatives managed to get him transported to a Berlin clinic, where he underwent further treatment. Experts from several foreign laboratories established that Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok chemical agent. Navalny subsequently announced that it was Russian FSB officers who tried to kill him on the orders of Vladimir Putin. Navalny even prank-called one of the alleged poisoners, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, and the latter admitted in a conversation that he had destroyed the evidence after the assassination attempt that was left on Navalny's underwear.
The Kremlin has been denying the fact of Navalny's poisoning for almost six months, claiming that the he allegedly starved himself in an attempt to lose weight, that he had pancreatitis or diabetes and, in general, undermined his own health.
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