‘Corsest employee Russian opposition leader Navalny leaves Russia’

A confidant of Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny has moved abroad according to Russian media. It concerns Lyubov Sobol, a closest employee of the prisoner Kremlin critic. State-minded Russian TV stations report that Sobol has traveled to Turkey.

Sobol is one of the most famous faces of the Russian opposition that had remained in Moscow. Other critics of President Putin fled earlier, leading up to the September parliamentary elections. Russia has virtually put critical organizations out of play with a series of measures in recent times.


The 33-year-old Sobol was sentenced to 1.5 years of freedom restriction on Tuesday for her role in the protests surrounding Navalny‘s arrest. โ€œWith the deduction of earlier house arrest, she is not allowed to leave Moscow for a year or participate in public meetings. She also needs to report to the authorities three times a month,โ€ says correspondent Geert Groot Koerkamp.

On the Russian commercial radio station Echo Moskvy, Sobol seemed to announce its departure itself by saying that the restrictive measures of freedom had not yet entered into force. โ€œThis may be interpreted as a possible announcement of my departure,โ€ she said Reuters news agency.

There is no confirmation of Sobol’s departure yet, says Groot Koerkamp. โ€œRussian media says she‘s not answering her phone.โ€

Sobol was convicted in two lawsuits. โ€œShe was said to have violated the corona measures in January by calling people to protest against the arrest of Russian opposition leader Navalny. In addition, she was previously granted a suspended sentence for breaking house peace because she would have unlawfully entered the apartment of an employee of the Russian Security Service FSB with a rotating camera. According to Navalny’s team, the man was involved in his poisoning last year,โ€ says Groot Koerkamp.

Navalny himself has been detained for a period of two and a half years after the judge considered proof that he had violated his bail obligations.