News / Europe

    Russian Authorities Charge Opposition Leader Udaltsov

    Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov speaks to media after visiting the Russian Investigative Committee's office in Moscow, October 26, 2012.Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov speaks to media after visiting the Russian Investigative Committee's office in Moscow, October 26, 2012.
    x
    Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov speaks to media after visiting the Russian Investigative Committee's office in Moscow, October 26, 2012.
    Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov speaks to media after visiting the Russian Investigative Committee's office in Moscow, October 26, 2012.
    Russia's top investigative committee has charged opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov, 35, with plotting mass riots against the government. Udaltsov says the charges against him are false and further demonstrate the Kremlin’s intolerance of dissent.

    Left Front party leader Sergei Udaltsov is the latest opposition activist to be charged with plotting crimes against the Kremlin. Russia’s State Investigative Committee says he organized mass riots in Moscow in May. Udaltsov was featured in a state television documentary in which he and others appear to be planning a coup funded by a Georgian official.

    The charges against Udaltsov follow the detention last week of two other activists, including Leonid Razvozzhayev, who said he was abducted in Ukraine and tortured into confessing to plotting mass riots against the Russian government. Udaltsov says his so-called confession was written under intense psychological torture that included threats against his children. According to his lawyer, he later retracted that confession.

    Speaking to reporters, Udaltsov said that the Razvozzhayev case is shameful, based on torture, and hurts Russia's image. Udaltsov added that no one would ever see him running across the border, he holds his head up and has not committed any crime. He noted that if arrested, he hopes society will not ignore it and mass protests will begin. Udaltsov added that he is fine and expressed hope that Russia will be free.

    Udaltsov's aide, Konstantin Lebedev, was also detained and is in police custody, unlike Udaltsov, who was released and ordered to stay in Moscow. The three men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

    Udaltsov says the charges against him are just the latest response from the Kremlin to crackdown on anyone who does not agree with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Udaltsov said that he has not planned or organized any mass disturbances, but supports peaceful protests. Udaltsov stated that he is acting within the framework of the law.

    Last month, billionaire Alexander Lebedev, who owns a Russian newspaper critical of the Kremlin, was charged with assault and hooliganism for punching fellow businessman Sergei Polonsky on a television show last year. Lebedev says the charges are politically motivated because of his support of the political opposition. Lebedev said that he believes Putin thinks he is funding the opposition, a charge he denies.

    Experts view the recent charges as part of a crackdown by Putin on the protest movement that has involved harsher punishments for public order offenses, a criminal investigation against charismatic opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and prison sentences for members of an anti-Kremlin all-female punk band Pussy Riot for a brief anti-Putin protest.

    The Kremlin has consistently maintained that it is operating within the law and is merely taking action against violent, unsanctioned protests in an attempt to strengthen security and keep the public safe.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora