Week-ending 25 December 2020
On 25 December 2020 police raided the home of Liubov Sobol, a lawyer who works for Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (now closed by the authorities) and took her in for questioning. According to reports, investigators opened a criminal case against Sobol for trespassing “with the use of violence or a threat to use it” after she called on the home of Konstantin Kudryavtsev, an FSB agent allegedly implicated in the poisoning of Navalny. She had first been detained on 21 December at the Kudryavtsev’s apartment when he called the police. She was then fined on 23 December for ‘disobeying a police officer.’
RFE/RL, 22 December 2020: Moscow police briefly detained Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, after she tried to meet an agent who appears to have implicated the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the poisoning of the 44-year-old Kremlin critic. Navalny wrote on Twitter that Sobol was detained late on December 21 when she arrived at the Moscow apartment of Konstantin Kudryavtsev, the agent who was apparently duped by Navalny into revealing details of the FSB’s operation to poison him with a nerve agent earlier in August. Kudryavtsev refused to open the door and talk about the poisoning incident with Sobol, and then called police, Navalny said.
Meduza, 23 December 2020: Moscow’s Perovsky District Court has fined Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), 1,000 rubles (about $13) following her arrest near the home of Konstantin Kudryavtsev — one of the FSB operatives allegedly involved in poisoning Navalny. The court found Sobol guilty of disobeying a police officer (under article 19.3 of the Administrative Code), Interfax reported on Wednesday, December 23, citing the court’s press service.
The Guardian, 25 December 2020: Russian police raided the home of opposition activist Lyubov Sobol early on Christmas Day and took her in for questioning, Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his supporters have said. Navalny’s supporters said they thought the police action was a response to her trying to knock at the door of an alleged FSB security agent in Moscow who Navalny says took part in the botched plot to poison him with novichok in August. The morning raid comes days after Navalny said he had tricked one security service agent in Russia’s FSB spy agency into admitting the plot, and revealing he was poisoned via his underwear. The FSB has dismissed Navalny’s allegations as a provocation. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund said on Twitter. on Friday: “Today, police came to Lyubov Sobol’s apartment at 7 am.”
RFE/RL, 25 December 2020: Russian law enforcement agencies have opened a criminal case against Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer for the outspoken Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and took her in for questioning, the head of the foundation said on December 25. FBK Director Ivan Zhdanov said on Twitter that investigators launched a probe into Sobol for trespassing “with the use of violence or a threat to use it” after she rang the doorbell of an agent who has implicated the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the poisoning of the 44-year-old Kremlin critic. Sobol’s lawyer Vladimir Voronin told the AFP news agency that the opposition lawyer was currently a witness in the probe but added that he expected Sobol to be charged later on December 25. There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities.