Sunday, June 20

Russia extends repression to independent political groups outside of Navalni

Exiled tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in file image

Exiled tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in file image

One by one, all the political organizations and personalities outside the Kremlin who moved within the narrow margins of action still allowed by the Russian state. After being dismantled the Anti-Corruption Fund, the powerful NGO founded by the jailed activist Alekséi Navalni, it is now the turn of Open Russia, the platform created in 2014 by the exiled tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky with the aim of “promoting civil society” in the country. Andrei Pivovárov, its former director, was arrested this Monday at the airport in St. Petersburg when he was preparing to travel to Warsaw, and literally removed from the plane by the security forces.

As he tells by phone to EL PERIÓDICO Tatyana Usmánova, former coordinator of ‘Open Russia’, “Pivovárov had crossed passport control, without any pending lawsuit against him,” and the plane, belonging to the airlines of Poland, “I was already rolling down the track” when, “by order of the Russian secret services, the pilot was ordered to stop. “After the arrest, continues Usmánova, the defendant was transferred to the city of Krasnodar, in southern Russia, where he will appear before the judge and be formally accused of belonging to “undesirable organization”, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.

Undesirable organization

The organization, funded and sponsored by Khodorkovsky from the UK, had already been declared “undesirable organization“in 2017, although finally it was not outlawed, as reported by portal OVD Info. Its members, that yes, have been persecuted persecuted in a recurrent way in the last three years by the security forces until finally, a few days ago, the organization decided self-resolving due to the intensification of the repression against independent movements. Pivovarov’s intentions to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in September was likely the trigger for the arrest. Pivovarov “was in talks with the Yabloko party” to be candidate in the elections, Usmánova has revealed.

Political power Y power of attorney appear to have been conspired to prevent the Duma that arises after the autumn electoral consultation from independent voices outside of traditionally tolerated political forces. The addresses of Dmitri Gudkov and his father Guenadi, both former deputies in the lower house of the Russian Parliament, have been registered this Tuesday. “In my dacha of Kolomna (town about 65 kilometers southeast of Moscow) a search is taking place … I do not know the formal reason; the real one is known “, has written Gudkov hijo on his Telegram channel. During their respective terms as parliamentarians, both became practically the only voices in the House who then dared to criticize President Putin. In 2013, Dmitri Gudkov was expelled from the party Just Russia, member of the so-called systemic opposition after being accused of invoking the US to “interfere in the internal affairs of Russia.” Today, he had joined the ranks of Yábloko, a liberal party.

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