Yulia Navalnaya Becomes Target of Disinformation Following Spouse’s Death

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Photo: Screenshot from a video

Not one relevant source even hints that Yulia Navalnaya has found a “new lover” following her husband’s death. The photograph showing Yulia Navalnaya on a beach with a man is from 2021. Using a reverse image search, we discovered that the man in question was Evgeny Chichvarkin, a Russian millionaire living in exile in the United Kingdom. The photograph was published on 17 August 2021 on Instagram, well before the death of Navalny. Chichvarkin was a supporter of Navalny and according to Time magazine, he had donated more than $100,000 to Navalny’s cause in 2010 in support of his fight against Putin


We are fact-checking a post (and here) on Facebook (screenshot here) sharing an article with the following headline:

Her mother-in-law has already made an accusation: Is this the lover of Yulia Navalnaya?

The article states that “Alexei Navalny’s family started fighting amongst itself before he was even buried” and that “Alexei’s mother accused her daughter-in-law Yulia Navalnaya of having a lover”.

The article includes a statement allegedly made by Alexei Navalny’s mother, in which she badmouths her daughter-in-law Yulia Navalnaya:

She punished him by forcing him to return to Russia. Now, she is with another man and is exploiting his death for her own benefit.

The article includes a photograph of Yulia Navalnaya with her alleged lover. He is identified as Evgeny Aleksandrovich Chichvarkin, a fifty-year-old millionaire and founder of the mobile phone company “Evroset.”

Not one relevant source can be found which includes Navalny’s mother’s statement. Additionally, the photograph presented in the post is from 2021, almost three years before Navalny’s death. Using reverse image search we discovered that the photograph was initially published on 17 August 2021 on Instagram. It features Evgeny Chichvarkin, a Russian millionaire living in exile in the United Kingdom.

With Russia’s beautiful future first lady, Yulia Navalnaya. Release Navalny, says the description of the original Instagram post, which lists Jurmala, a city in Latvia, as its location.

Chichvarkin is the co-founder and former owner of “Evroset”, the first mobile phone distribution company in Russia. He fled to the UK in 2008 after selling his company. Now he is a wine merchant, as well as a fierce opponent to Putin. Time magazine reported that Chichvarkin had donated more than $100,000 to Navalny in support of his fight against Putin back in 2010.

Chichvarkin’s photo with Yulia Navalnaya attracted attention when it was published back in 2021. Chichvarkin confirmed the authenticity of the photograph then and made jokes for the radio station “Eho Moskvi”.

People are jealous. They too would like to walk along the beach with Yulia Navalnaya – beautiful, strong, a potential first lady, with long beautiful legs and beautiful thoughts. People are just jealous and cannot help themselves.
Jurmala has not been taken yet by the Taliban, which means that you can walk there with a married woman. You can probably guess that we were not alone there, said Chichvarkin in 2021.

As France Press fact-checkers specify, Alexei Navalny’s widow Yulia has been the target of disinformation campaigns following her husband’s death. The widow of the prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, vowed to continue her husband’s fight against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Alexei Navalny died in prison.

Several social media accounts have been posting photos of Yulia Navalnaya with a different man to imply she has ‘moved on’, but the image is from 2021 reported France Press.

Navalny’s death has left Russia’s opposition without a leader, at a time when Russia is intensifying its repression and campaign regarding the invasion of Ukraine. Many Western leaders have blamed Moscow for his death, while the US has announced that it is planning to impose new sanctions on Russia.

Russia’s most prominent opponent, Alexei Navalny was imprisoned after returning to Russia in the beginning of 2021. His health was in a deteriorating state as a result of severe poisoning with Novichok – a military nerve agent developed by the former Soviet Union.

Days after his death, on 19 February, his widow Yulia announced that she promised to continue his work.

In her video message, she accuses Putin of the murder of her late husband, claiming that her team will reveal the real circumstances and perpetrators of the crime. Speaking in an emotional tone, Navalnaya called on her supporters to join her:

We must all unite in a strong fist and use it to strike at this crazed regime, she said.

Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed Yulia Navalnaya’s claims that Putin had killed her husband as “unsubstantiated and vulgar”.

Due to all the above-noted facts, the post being fact-checked is assessed as untrue. No relevant source has stated that Yulia Navalnaya was accused of finding a “new lover”, while the photograph shared along with the post was taken in 2021, before Alexei Navalny’s death.