Alexei Navalny Aide Gets Attacked in Lithuania

( – A top aide of the recently deceased Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was assaulted in front of his Lithuanian home. Leonid Volkov arrived at his residence and was exiting his car when the assault happened.

During the assault, Volkov was struck more than a dozen times with a hammer, tear gas was sprayed in his eyes, and he was left on the ground with serious injuries. His car window was smashed as well.

Volkov is now recovering from a broken arm, a leg laceration, and bruises on his face. The Russian opposition member has been living in exile since the death of Nevalny in a Russian prison on January 17. Volkov was a chief strategist to Navalny and shared a few photos of his injuries to his Telegram social media account, along with a message conveying his vow to continue fighting.

The day after the attack, he released a one-minute Telegram video detailing his injuries, downplaying the broken arm and stating his relief that his leg was not severely injured from the blows he received. Volkov is blaming a Putin “henchman” for the attack he suffered, describing the method of attack as a “characteristic bandit greeting” that he associates with the Russian president.

Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda described the attack as pre-planned and said that he associates it with other violence that has occurred in his country recently. Lithuania is a NATO member nation and Nauseda said “no one is afraid” of Putin in his country. Lithuania’s foreign minister took to Twitter and wrote that anyone perpetrating crimes in Lithuania will “answer” for them.

Lithuanian authorities have put up barricades and fencing along a forest area near Volkov’s home. The house is located on the outskirts of Vilnius and police were seen searching the adjacent forest area after the attack. Many members of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation group have fled to surrounding NATO nations over the past few weeks. Video of the late Navalny speaking was featured during the recent Oscar Awards prior to the “in memoriam” section honoring actors and industry professionals who died in the past year.

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