Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's spokeswoman leaves Russia - Ifax


FILE PHOTO: Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's spokesperson Kira Yarmysh accused of breaching COVID-19 safety regulations speaks with journalists after a court hearing in Moscow, Russia August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Kira Yarmysh, the spokeswoman for jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, has left Russia, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing two anonymous sources.

One of the sources said Yarmysh has flown to the Finnish capital Helsinki. Yarmysh did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

A Russian court imposed 18 months of restrictions on her freedom of movement earlier this month, after finding her guilty of breaching COVID-19 safety rules.

Russian authorities have cracked down hard on the opposition before a parliamentary election next month, and many of Navalny's most prominent allies have left Russia rather than face restrictions or jail at home.

The court ruling banned Yarmysh from leaving her home at night, from taking part in rallies, and from changing her home address without first notifying prison authorities.

She was found guilty of breaching COVID-19 safety rules over what police said was an illegal protest in support of Navalny last winter. She has said the charge was politically motivated and has appealed.

Navalny is serving 2-1/2 years in jail for parole violations in an embezzlement case he says was trumped up. Navalny's allies accuse the authorities of using the law to crush dissenting voices.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh;Writing by Olzhas Auyezov;Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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