Head of Navalny-linked doctors’ ‘union’ denounces Russian opposition figure’s movement, his allies blame pressure from authorities
Writing on Facebook, Anastasia Vasilyeva accused the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) of neglecting her so-called union in its hour of need. The FBK was designated an extremist organization earlier this year.
“Friends, it is hard for me to write these words, but due to the recent events that are happening to me and the like-minded people around me. It’s quite a sad story,” Vasilyeva wrote. “During the pandemic, the FBK provided us with help. But, at the moment we were no longer needed, we were forgotten. Used and thrown away…”Also on rt.com Back to the USSR? Team Navalny wants Russians to vote for the once-hated Communists instead of liberal pro-Western candidates
The Doctors’ Alliance, which has a small membership base, was created in 2018 and claims to be a union to protect the rights of medical workers. Its head founded the organization after working with Navalny, who she treated as his ophthalmologist. While it gained prominence at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, its star has faded in recent months, leading some of its members to leave and form a splinter group.
According to Vasilyeva, the leadership of the FBK is “destroying” what her Doctors’ Alliance team had “worked so hard to create.” She accused them of having run to other parts of Europe when the head of the organization, Navalny, was sent to jail. In particular, she named Leonid Volkov, Ivan Zhdanov, and Maria Pevchikh, attacking them for apparently focusing on “power and money.” The first of these have left the country, ostensibly due to fears of prosecution, while Pevchikh has lived in London for some time.
“From this day forward, I ask you not to associate me and the Doctors Alliance with the FBK,” she continued.
Vasilyeva’s condemnation of her former allies comes just a day before the country’s parliamentary elections are due to begin, and a day after Navalny’s team published its list of recommended candidates, which they have dubbed ‘Smart Voting.’
The FBK was founded by Navalny in 2011 and has been led by Zhdanov since 2018. Writing on Twitter, the lawyer suggested Vasilyeva had written the post under pressure.Also on rt.com Pussy Riot’s Alyokhina given one year of ‘restricted freedom’ as another Russian opposition figure is convicted in ‘sanitary case’
“I know that, recently, Anastasia’s life has been turned into a real hell,” he said, claiming it was “clear” who wrote her post and “what the purpose was.”
“I can’t judge whether Anastasia did the right thing or not. I wouldn’t want anyone to ever be in such a situation,” he concluded.
Pevchikh, in turn, wrote that the Facebook post was linked to the upcoming elections, and called on media outlets “not to produce fake news” and to refuse to report on it.
Vasilyeva herself is currently awaiting a verdict in the so-called ‘Sanitary Case,’ which has already seen several allies of Navalny given punishments by the court. Figures such as Lyubov Sobol and Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina have been sentenced to “restricted freedom,” including a curfew and a ban on traveling outside the Moscow Region.
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