‘I want to show I’m not afraid’. Opposition politician Violetta Grudina on her forced hospitalization and decision to go on hunger strike

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Violetta Grudina used to lead Alexey Navalny’s campaign office in Murmansk — before this opposition movement was outlawed as “extremist,” that is. In the summer of 2021, she announced plans to put her name on the ballot for the upcoming City Council elections. Not long after, the authorities opened a criminal case against her, claiming that Grudina failed to fulfil quarantine requirements while recovering from the coronavirus in June. On top of that, in mid-July, Grudina was hospitalized by court order — despite the fact that she tested negative for COVID-19 and no longer had any symptoms. On July 26 — after almost two weeks in the hospital — the opposition politician announced a hunger strike. In conversation with Meduza, Violetta Grudina talks about her forced hospitalization, going on hunger strike, and why she’s not giving up on running in the fall elections.

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