News / Europe

Kremlin Opponents Accused of Plotting Violent Protest

Opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov waves before entering Russian Investigative Committee's office, Moscow, Dec. 14, 2012.Opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov waves before entering Russian Investigative Committee's office, Moscow, Dec. 14, 2012.
x
Opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov waves before entering Russian Investigative Committee's office, Moscow, Dec. 14, 2012.
Opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov waves before entering Russian Investigative Committee's office, Moscow, Dec. 14, 2012.
Reuters
Two Russian opposition activists accused of plotting violent protests went on trial on Tuesday and denounced the charges against them as part of a politically motivated crackdown on opponents of President Vladimir Putin.
 
Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev are charged with organizing violent mass disorder and face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
 
The accusations against the two men are linked to a protest on the eve of Putin's inauguration for a third term as president in May 2012, when clashes erupted between protesters and police.
 
The defendants say police provoked the violence. Putin has emphasized that anyone who attacks police must be punished.
 
"I categorically reject the accusations against me. I believe the investigators did nothing more than carry out a political order aimed at neutralizing active opposition representatives," Udaltsov said before the judge cut him off.
 
A veteran street protester with a shaven head, Udaltsov, 37, helped organize a series of earlier demonstrations that shook the Kremlin after a December 2011 parliamentary election marred by widespread allegations of fraud in favor of Putin's party.
 
He and Razvozzhayev were prosecuted after a pro-Kremlin television channel aired allegations that Udaltsov had received money and orders to cause unrest in Russia from an ally of Georgia's then-president Mikheil Saakashvili, a foe of Putin.
 
Amnesty
 
Eight people tried on charges of violence against police at the May 6, 2012, protest are to hear their verdict on Friday. Several others accused in connection with the protest have been cleared under an amnesty Putin engineered in December.
 
The amnesty also led to the release of two members of protest punk band Pussy Riot. Separately, Putin pardoned former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent more than a decade in jail on tax evasion charges but was widely seen in the West as a political prisoner.
 
Many observers said the amnesty and Khodorkovsky's release were aimed at improving Russia's image before the 2014 Winter Olympics this month in Sochi, a major prestige project for Putin that will help shape his legacy after 14 years in power.
 
Razvozzhayev has said he was tortured after being abducted in Ukraine, where he was seeking asylum. Russian authorities deny they abducted him. Razvozzhayev faces an additional charge of illegally crossing a state border.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: aimeemb from: Florida, US
February 18, 2014 7:06 PM
May all of Putin's political opponents (and there are many) soon see the sunshine, democracy and a Russia free from Putin.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More