Navalny accuses Russian forces of killing a namesake in Ukraine – POLITICO

Alexey Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leader, on Tuesday accused Russian soldiers of killing a man in the Ukrainian city of Bucha because he went by the surname Navalny.

In a thread In his Twitter feed, Navalny said the dead man’s body was found on the ground, next to it was a passport identifying him as Ilya Ivanovich Navalny, born August 2, 1961 in Zalissia — the same village where Alexey Navalny’s father was born was was born near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

“Everything indicates that they killed him because of his last name,” says Navalny’s post. “That’s why his pass was defiantly thrown nearby. A completely innocent person was killed [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s executioners (what else should I call them? definitely not “Russian soldiers”) because he’s my namesake. Apparently they were hoping he was a relative of mine.”

Navalny has been in prison since returning to Russia from Germany last year, where he was recovering from an assassination attempt in which he was poisoned with a chemical weapon. He was initially charged with parole violations in a case originally based on allegations widely believed to have been fabricated by the Kremlin. Last month he was sentenced to a further nine years in prison on allegations of fraud, which were also politically motivated.

Colleagues who continue Navalny’s anti-corruption movement from outside Russia help maintain his Twitter feed, which has 2.9 million followers. Lawyers and other staff were able to visit him at the maximum-security penal colony where he is being held and give him written messages.

Navalny’s accusation that Ilya Navalny was killed because of his surname could not be immediately confirmed. However, local officials and independent Ukrainian and international journalists have documented extensive atrocities in Bucha, including the torture and killing of civilians, committed by Russian forces, which occupied the town near Kyiv for about a month before being captured by the Ukrainian military were expelled. Navalny said he didn’t know if he was related to the man, adding that there were many people with the same surname Zalissia.

In the Twitter thread, Navalny called for resistance to Russia’s war in Ukraine and to Putin. “It is now everyone’s duty to make at least a small contribution to end this war and remove Putin from power,” he wrote. “Protest where and how you can. Agitate as you can and who you can. Inaction is the worst. And now its consequence is death.” Navalny accuses Russian forces of killing a namesake in Ukraine - POLITICO

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