26 December 2020
Lyubov Sobol, a key ally of Navalny was detained on Friday for 48 hours after a day of interrogation on charges of violent trespassing.
Alexei Navalny is the opposition leader and founder of Russian Anti-Corruption Foundation. On 20 August 2020, he was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. He has over four million YouTube subscribers and over two million Twitter followers. He has been arrested several times in Russia for political motivation.
The EU and the UK have imposed sanctions over Navalny’s poisoning on six senior Russian officials and a state chemical centre. Navalny and Sobol now know the agents who were involved in the poisoning.
Navalny stated that Russian police raided the home of Lyubov Sobol early on Christmas Day and took her in for questioning. This was in 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. 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 investigative group Bellingcat released a report alleging that FSB operatives with specialized training in chemical weapons followed him for years and were in close vicinity when he was poisoned.
The 33-year-old Sobol’s phone was switched off and both Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmyash and the head of Navalny’s fund, Ivan Zhdanov, did not know where she was. But her husband and her daughter were allowed to leave the flat. Sobol, a lawyer by training, has announced plans to run for parliament next year.