Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Detained In Moscow

Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says he was “dragged out” of his office by police officers who conducted fresh searches at the headquarters of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow.

“Latest: no one has been detained. They simply dragged me out of the office,” Navalny tweeted on December 26, shortly after his spokeswoman said the Kremlin critic was “forcibly detained and led away.”

Videos show police officers forcing their way in with a power tool on December 26.

Navalny was live on Twitter, showing the moments before police officers entered the office.

It was not immediately clear why the outspoken Kremlin critic was detained.

On December 23, a project manager for FBK was placed into compulsory military service and sent to serve in the Arctic.

Ruslan Shaveddinov, 23, was detained in his Moscow apartment and eventually sent 5,600 kilometers away to Novaya Zemlya to serve at a remote air-defense base in the Arctic Ocean, Navalny learned on December 24.

Navalny, who has defied President Vladimir Putin’s rule and whose FBK has exposed large-scale public corruption, blamed the Kremlin leader for sending the group’s project manager away.

Service in Russia’s military is mandatory for most male citizens who are drafted for one year after turning 18 and before reaching the age of 28.

New conscripts are often subject to brutal hazing and bullying by more senior soldiers, so many young men try to avoid service by all available means.

On December 24, a Moscow court fined FBK lawyer Lyubov Sobol the equivalent of $16,000 for twice repeating offenses related to rules on staging public events.

The latest fine relates to opposition rallies for holding free municipal elections that were held on August 10 and 31, both events that the Moscow Tagansky district court ruled were led by Sobol.

However, the August 10 opposition rally was held with a permit from local authorities, but without Sobol’s participation because the offices of FBK were being searched that day, according to the lawyer.

With reporting by Lenta.ru and AFP
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