Former head of Navalny’s Novosibirsk headquarters decides not to return to Russia
Novosibirsk city councilman Sergey Boyko, the former head of Alexey Navalny’s local campaign office, has traveled abroad with his family and decided not to return to Russia.
Boyko announced his decision in a Facebook post on Thursday, November 25. The city councilman told Tayga.Info that he went abroad on a business trip and was supposed to return to Novosibirsk last week. But the criminal case against Liliya Chanysheva, the former head of Navalny’s Ufa headquarters, made him rethink coming back to Russia.
“In the materials of Liliya Chanysheva’s case, it [would be] enough to change Ufa to Novosibirsk and everything else, word for word, [would] ensure that I have regular visits with my family according to a schedule. Moreover, according to my information, such materials already exist,” Boyko wrote on Facebook.
The city councilman also said that he’s in no rush to relinquish his mandate. “Of course it’s better for a deputy to work in his constituency, but it depends on the deputy. Currently, a certain [Alexander] Bykovsky [an aide to United Russia lawmaker Dmitry Savelyev] is actively campaigning in my district. And I think that even a virtual deputy of the coalition in the district is much better than him,” Boyko said.
Sergey Boyko was elected to the Novosibirsk City Council in 2020. He ran as a self-nominated candidate with the support of “Novosibirsk 2020” — a coalition of independent politicians and community activists.
In early November, authorities in Ufa arrested the former head of Navalny’s local campaign office, Liliya Chernysheva, as the first suspect in the criminal case opened against Navalny and his close associates for “creating an extremist group.” If convicted, Chernysheva will face up to ten years in prison.
On November 24, the former head of Navalny’s St. Petersburg headquarters, Irina Fatyanova, announced that she had fled Russia fearing persecution specifically because of the case against Chanysheva.