Leonid Volkov: Navalny ally vows to keep fighting Putin after ‘bandit hello attack by his henchmen’

Leonid Volkov, a close ally to late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, has vowed to continue his struggle against Vladimir Putin after he was attacked outside his house in Lithuania.

The Putin critic said he was left with a broken arm and multiple injuries after being attacked with a hammer late on Tuesday.

He alleged that the attack was carried out by agents of the Russian president. “It was a characteristic bandit greeting from Putin’s henchmen,” he said.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda later said he also believed the attack was clearly pre-planned and ties in with other provocations against the Baltic nation.

Addressing Russian President Vladimir Putin directly, Mr Nauseda said: “I can only say one thing to Putin – nobody is afraid of you here.”

The Lithuanian state security department then concurred with its President’s suspicions that the attack was executed by Russia.

Mr Volkov, 43, was briefly hospitalised after the assault. “The man attacked me in the yard, hit me on the leg about 15 times,” he said in a video message on Telegram. “The leg somehow is OK. It hurts to walk… However, I broke my arm.”

“They literally wanted to make a schnitzel out of me,” he added.

The attack comes almost a month after Navalny’s sudden death at an Artic prison where he was serving a decades-long sentence on what many international observers have described as trumped-up charges.

Kira Yarmysh, a former Navalny spokesperson, said someone broke a car window and sprayed tear gas in Mr Volkov’s eyes. He was then attacked with a hammer, she added.

Leonid Volkov’s wounds after he was attacked outside his home in Vilnius

(Courtesy of X user @a_biryukova/)

Mr Volkov’s wife Anna Biryukova posted images showing him with a bruise on his forehead, blood coming out of his leg and the damaged vehicle with shattered glass lying on the floor.

She said her husband was unable to walk due to a severe bruise from blows with a hammer. “The choice between running to your husband who was attacked or not leaving your sleeping children alone is disgusting, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone,” Ms Biryukova said in an update on X on Wednesday.

Leonid Volkov’s wounds after he was attacked outside his home in Vilnius

(Courtesy of X user @a_biryukova/)

“We will all work even harder. And even angrier,” she declared.

Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis called the assault “shocking”, adding that the “perpetrators will have to answer for their crime”.

The police in Lithuania said they had been informed a man was beaten outside his home, and were investigating.

Law enforcement officials have fenced off a pine forest near Mr Volkov’s house on Vilnius’ northern outskirts, and officers with dogs and flashlights were combing the area.

Police Commissioner Renatas Pozela said authorities were devoting “huge resources” to investigate the attack on Mr Volkov.

Police officers inspects the area near the house of Leonid Volkov, a close associate of the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny


Mr Volkov, a member of Navalny’s political group the Anti-Corruption Foundation, fled Russia for Lithuania in 2019. Russia tried to get him extradited through an Interpol notice, but a Russian court order was rejected by the Lithuanian government which accused Moscow of “using international tools for politically motivated prosecution”.

An energetic IT specialist originally from Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, Mr Volkov began working with Navalny in 2012. He rose to prominence the following year when he led a slick Moscow mayoral campaign for the late opposition politician.

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