WASHINGTON – Following the seemingly targeted attack against Alexei Navalny’s former Chief of Staff, Leonid Volkov, in Lithuania, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, released the following statement:

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“Lithuania has been a resolute and important safe haven for democratic leaders facing repression in their home countries, including those from Belarus and Russia. While yesterday’s attack on Leonid Volkov was despicable, I am encouraged by the forceful response of the Lithuanian government and President Nauseda to not be deterred and to hold those responsible for this cowardly crime. The U.S. stands in solidarity with its Lithuanian allies and those working for freedom in Russia and Belarus.”

Mr. Volkov was attacked with a hammer outside his home in Lithuania late Tuesday. Durbin spoke by phone with U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania, Kara McDonald, and Lithuanian Ambassador to the U.S., Audra Plepyte, this morning, where he expressed support for Mr. Volkov and for the Lithuanian government as they try to find the perpetrator.

Mr. Navalny was an opposition leader and anticorruption activist who led the political opposition against Russian President Vladimir Putin for more than a decade. Putin tried to silence him by poison and later by imprisonment in remote Russia, from where he continued to advocate for a free Russia. Mr. Navalny died in a prison inside the Arctic Circle after sustaining mistreatment and isolation last month. After his death, Durbin and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) along with U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL-05) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) introduced legislation to rename a section of the street near the Russian Ambassador to the United States residence as “Alexei Navalny Way.”

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