The wife of jailed Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption crusader Aleksei Navalny has left Russia and flown to Germany under unclear circumstances.
Yulia Navalnaya flew from Domodedovo airport in Moscow on February 10 and arrived in Frankfurt in the evening.
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported she was not seen leaving the airport transit area, but that passengers on the Lufthansa flight confirmed she was on board.
Earlier, Russian agency Interfax quoted a source as saying Navalnaya had left for Germany without providing details.
Navalnaya’s lawyer, Svetlana Davydova, could not confirm the report when asked about it by the TASS news agency, saying she didn’t “have such information.”
She had recently been detained for taking part in unsanctioned rallies in support of her jailed husband.
Her departure led to speculation she had fled Russia out of concern for her freedom and safety in the wake of a crackdown on Navalny’s associates and protesters calling for his release from prison.
German magazine Der Spiegel, citing sources, reported that Navalnaya arrived in the country to attend “private” matters, without providing further details.
Navalny was arrested on January 17 upon his return to Russia from Germany, where he was being treated for a nerve-agent poisoning that he says was ordered by President Vladimir Putin, which the Kremlin has denied.
A court on February 2 later sentenced Navalny to 3 1/2 years in prison for violating the terms of probation while recuperating in Germany in a case that has caused domestic and international outrage..
He had been serving a suspended sentence relating to an embezzlement case that he has called politically motivated. Given credit for time already spent in detention, the court said the Kremlin critic would have to serve 2 years and 8 months behind bars.
Navalnaya had been in Berlin with her husband while he was recovering from the nerve-agent poisoning.