Wed, 20 Oct 2021

One of the most outspoken supporters of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says she is 'disappointed' with the Kremlin-critic's exiled associates and has broken ties with them as the country heads to polling stations for elections.

Anastasia Vasilyeva, the chief of the Physicians' Alliance NGO, accused Navalny's now-defunct Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) of leaving her and her team without any support after 'using' them, saying that Navalny's associates Leonid Volkov, Ivan Zhdanov, and Maria Pevchikh, who currently live outside of Russia, 'are ruining everything that we once created.'

'I'm very disappointed. The foundation's managers are now destroying what all of us worked so hard to create,' she wrote in a Facebook post late on September 16.

'Now they [Navalny's associates] are in Europe and a certain someone [Navalny] finds himself in prison. See the difference? Anyone who believed in him is now at risk of criminal prosecution. And when they lock these people up, no one will remember them,' she added while not elaborating on what was being destroyed.

Vasilyeva's posting sparked a heated reaction online, with many believing that she was forced to make the statement on the eve of parliamentary elections as the Kremlin-backed ruling party, which has seen its support slump, aims to retain power.

Vasilyeva, who famously played her piano while police recently ransacked her apartment during a crackdown over the past year against Navalny and his allies, has been under increasing pressure from authorities.

WATCH: Navalny Supporter Defiantly Plays Piano As Russian Police Raid Her Home

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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