Ksenia Fadeyeva, an ally of imprisoned opposition figure Alexei Navalny, was jailed Monday while on trial for extremism in the Russian city of Tomsk. According to Andrei Fateyev, an associate of Fadeyeva’s, she had been on house arrest but the state prosecutor demanded that she be sent into immediate custody.
Since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Russian authorities have implemented a severe crackdown on journalists, anti-war activists and human rights advocates. Alexei Navalny, a longstanding critic of the Kremlin, was given multiple sentences amounting to around 30 years in prison, with the last of these being handed down in August 2023. The charges against him included, among others, organising an extremist community, publicly advocating the performance of of an extremist activity and rehabilitating Nazism. In October, Navalny’s lawyers were also arrested on extremism charges and were detained. More recently, Aleksandr Strukov, a photographer linked to Navalny was jailed, following allegations including incitement to terrorist activities.
On his Telegram channel, Fateyev said that Fadeyeva was a ‘political prisoner … the state punishes her for legal and open political activity, for the fight against corruption, for demanding a change of power in the country.’ Fadeyeva, who used to be a deputy of the Tomsk City Duma, worked with Navalny when she ran his office in the city. She is one of many names added to a list of “terrorists” by Russia, and her trial began back in August. Rights groups have condemned Russian authorities for using its laws to suppress dissent.