Navalny chief of staff attacked with hammer

Navalny chief of staff attacked with hammer
Leonid Volkov before and after the attack. / Anti-Corruption Foundation
By bne IntelliNews March 13, 2024

Leonid Volkov, the former chief of staff of murdered Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, was assaulted near his residence in Vilnius on March 12.

In a video message on social media, Volkov stated that he was attacked by a man wielding a hammer used for tenderising meat. He was hit around 15 times in the leg, he explained. After the attack, the former Navalny staffer was briefly hospitalised with a broken arm before being released.

“They wanted to make a schnitzel out of me,” he said. “It hurts to walk, but they say it’s not broken, though they did break my arm.”

In the same video, Volkov immediately attributed the attack to the Kremlin, denouncing it as a “bandit-style greeting from Putin."

“Leonid Volkov has just been attacked outside his house. Someone broke a car window and sprayed tear gas in his eyes, after which the attacker started hitting Leonid with a hammer. Leonid is now at home, police and ambulance are on their way to him,”  Navalny’s former spokesperson Kira Yarmish wrote on X.

Soon after, Lithuania’s president, Gitanas Nausėda, also pinned the blame on Moscow. 

“I can only say one thing to Putin nobody is afraid of you here,” he said to the press.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis condemned the assault.

“News about Leonid’s assault are shocking. Relevant authorities are at work. Perpetrators will have to answer for their crime,” he posted on X.

Lithuanian Police Force’s anti-terrorism unit has already launched an investigation into the attack, which they said occurred around 10pm at night  in Zuvedru Street in Vilnius. According to the police, unidentified persons assaulted and beat the man as he arrived in a car in the yard of his home.

Volkov left Russia several years ago under threat of arrest and now lives in Lithuania. He served as chairman of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) until 2023.



On March 9, 2023, Volkov resigned as chairman of FBK after admitting that, without consulting his colleagues, he signed a letter on behalf of the foundation, asking the EU to lift sanctions on Mikhail Fridman, a Russian oligarch, whose banking business was found to be a sponsor of the Russian war machine, said.