Russian lawmaker seeks official probe following (debunked) reports that Yulia Navalnaya has dual citizenship
Russian State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov has sent a request to the Interior Ministry asking police officials to look into whether or not Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny, possesses dual citizenship or a foreign residency permit.
As cited by RIA Novosti, Milonov wrote in his request that Navalnaya’s trips to Germany in recent months, in conjunction with the “appearance of similar information about [her] dual citizenship,” has provoked “controversial speculation and suspicions.”
Milonov’s request for an official probe comes after designer and blogger Artemy Lebedev published a photo on his Telegram channel of an identity document allegedly confirming that Yulia Navalnaya is a German citizen.
Almost immediately after publishing the photo, Lebedev backtracked saying that it had turned out to be fake. The blogger apologized to Navalnaya the next day.
Yulia Navalnaya refused to accept the apology, calling Lebedev a “coward” and an “overgrown mama’s boy.” “You published it [the photo] because to you it seemed like a good moment: the husband was imprisoned, which means you can attack the wife,” Navalnaya wrote on Instagram. “Don’t flatter yourself, you have no honor and you never did.”
After spending nearly five months in Germany recovering from an apparent assassination attempt, Alexey Navalny returned to Russia along with his wife Yulia in mid-January 2021. He was arrested immediately upon arrival at a Moscow airport and remanded in custody pending trial.
In February, a Russian court sentenced Navalny to nearly three years in prison for allegedly violating the terms of his probation in the Yves Rocher case while abroad. Following an appellate ruling that upheld this decision, Navalny was transferred from a Moscow remand prison to a penal colony in the Vladimir region. Navalny will serve two years and six months in prison, taking into account time spent under house arrest in 2014–2015.