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Russian consulate in Lithuania refuses to issue new passports to nationals pegged for protest
The Russian consulate in Lithuania has denied a citizen’s application for a new Russian passport, reports the independent outlet Verstka, citing the applicant herself.
Kristina Zavyalova is a Russian citizen living in Lithuania. Her husband is on the Russian federal Wanted list, in connection with allegedly spreading “disinformation” about the Russian military — a formula often applied to people who challenge the regime’s monopoly on facts about the war with Ukraine.
The Zavyalov family left Russia last October. Kristina’s husband Vladimir was charged with spreading “fakes” after he replaced some store price tags with anti-war protest notes. After the prosecution requested a six-year prison sentence for Vladimir, he decided to leave Russia.
Although Kristina’s son was recently granted a new passport, her own application has been denied.
Sirena, the news outlet run by Alexey Navalny’s associates, reports on a similar situation that happened to Elena Lekiashvili, a former Navalny volunteer coordinator from Yaroslavl. Lekiashvili also applied for a new Russian passport at the Russian consulate in Lithuania. Her application has been denied, on the pretext of outstanding fines for attending a protest in support of Navalny in January 2021.
Last week, Sirena reported that a Russian embassy in Canada had refused to process a passport application from another Russian national, because of her participation in a pro-Navalny Facebook group.
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