In Russia, an ally of Alexeï Navalny sentenced to nine years in prison

An ally of the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, accused of having “created an extremist organization”, was sentenced on Friday December 29 to nine years in prison in Tomsk, Siberia, her supporters announced, in a context of unprecedented repression in Russia

In Russia, an ally of Alexeï Navalny sentenced to nine years in prison

An ally of the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, accused of having “created an extremist organization”, was sentenced on Friday December 29 to nine years in prison in Tomsk, Siberia, her supporters announced, in a context of unprecedented repression in Russia.

The court of the Sovetsky district (administrative district) of Tomsk “inflicted nine years in prison on Ksenia Fadeeva”, a former municipal deputy, her supporters announced on Telegram, assuring that her defense would “of course appeal this decision ".

Accused of having "created an extremist organization" and of having participated "in an organization violating citizens' rights", Ksenia Fadeeva, 31, whose trial opened in August, had led the team of Alexei Navalny in the city of Tomsk.

Alexeï Navalny was poisoned in this city in 2020 while making a pre-election support visit to his local collaborators. Seriously ill, he was then transferred for treatment to Germany, then arrested and sentenced to prison on his return to Russia.

Refusal to go into exile

Ksenia Fadeeva was elected to the Tomsk city council in 2020 with other independent activists in Siberia, a rare success for the Russian opposition at the time. In 2021, Mr. Navalny's campaign teams were declared "extremist" by the authorities, exposing the opponent's supporters and collaborators to the risk of criminal prosecution. Although many of them left Russia, Ksenia Fadeeva refused to go into exile. She was arrested in December 2021 for organizing a group described as “extremist.”

In June, the head of the opponent's headquarters in the city of Ufa, in central Russia, was already sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for "extremism". Lilia Tchanycheva, an accountant, was the first collaborator of Mr. Navalny to be tried for creating an “extremist organization”. She left her job to join Mr Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund in 2017, actively participating in the anti-corruption protest movement in her region.

According to the specialized NGO OVD-Info, nearly 20,000 Russians have been arrested since the start of the conflict in Ukraine for protesting against Kremlin policies. Almost all major opponents are behind bars, such as Vladimir Kara-Mourza and Ilia Yashin, or in exile abroad.