Polish authorities have arrested two men suspected of attacking a close ally of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Vilnius in March, Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda said Friday.   

Leonid Volkov was briefly admitted to hospital after he was repeatedly struck with a hammer outside his home in Vilnius on March 12. 

Lithuanian intelligence said at the time it suspected Russia's special services of involvement.

“Two people suspected of having attacked the Russian opposition leader Leonid Volkov are detained in Poland,” Nauseda told reporters.

The attack was staged almost a month after Navalny's death in an Arctic prison, which Volkov blamed on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and days before elections that extended the Kremlin chief's stay in power.


Nauseda did not give the identities of the suspected attackers but said they would be expelled to Lithuania. He added that he had thanked Poland's President Andrzej Duda for his country's work in the case.

Volkov welcomed the detentions in a statement on Telegram social media.

“I don't know the details yet but I can say that I have seen the energy and the perseverance with which the Lithuanian police have worked on this affair and I am very happy that this work has paid off,” the 43-year-old commented.

The announcement came a day after Polish and Ukrainian prosecutors said they had detained a man in Poland suspected of planning an attack on Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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The Russian embassy in Warsaw said it had not been informed of the matter and questioned the truth of the announcement.
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