A Russian court has issued an arrest warrant for Leonid Volkov, a close associate of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, just hours after the Investigative Committee added him to the country’s wanted list.
A spokeswoman for the Basmanny district court said on February 10 that the warrant was issued for Volkov, the head of the network of Navalny’s teams across Russia, at the request of the Investigative Committee.
Volkov, who is currently based outside Russia in an unspecified country, is suspected of calling on minors to take part in unsanctioned mass rallies in late January.
The 44-year-old Navalny, an anti-corruption crusader, was arrested on January 17 after returning to Russia from Germany where he was treated for a nerve-agent poisoning that he says was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which the Kremlin has denied.
The detention sparked outrage across the country and much of the West, with tens of thousands of Russians taking to the streets in rallies on January 23 and 31.
Police cracked down harshly on the demonstrations, putting many of Navalny’s allies behind bars, and then detaining thousands more — sometimes violently — as they gathered on the streets.