News / Europe

Russian Opposition Leader Investigated

A police officer escorts Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov, center, for questioning in Moscow, October 17, 2012.
A police officer escorts Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov, center, for questioning in Moscow, October 17, 2012.
Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov and other activists are being investigated on claims they planned to overthrow the government.  

Russia’s Investigative Committee says it is looking into claims 35-year-old leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov worked with Georgian officials to overthrow the government in Moscow.

The committee is basing its investigation on a documentary that aired on state TV last week that allegedly showed footage of Udaltsov meeting with officials in Georgia to discuss raising $200 million for protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin and to allegedly organize riots in Moscow.

Udaltsov says this is just another tactic by the Putin administration to clamp down on the opposition.  He has helped stage unprecedented protests against Mr. Putin since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He says the allegations are lawless repressions, and he hopes society will not be silent about it.  He says it is the authorities' revenge for opposition activity and appealed to the people to express their outrage about it.

Udaltsov says that he has met with lots of people recently to discuss fundraising and says his activities are legal.  He says the footage in the documentary has been doctored. 

But the Investigative Committee says it has closely looked at the material and claims it is authentic.

Udaltsov says he is prepared to fight the allegations. He says he is ready for everything, and he has not committed any crime.  He says his only guilt is that he is telling the truth.

Many analysts say the investigation is another indication the Kremlin will not tolerate dissent since Mr. Putin returned to office for an unprecedented third term in May.

Since then, penalties for participating in and organizing unsanctioned protests have increased.  Mr. Putin's government says new laws regarding protests are meant to protect Russians from violence.


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Comment Sorting
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
October 19, 2012 10:11 AM
It’s bizarre to read Jacob’s lines from Israel. What do you personally know about “free Russia” under Mr.Putin, who is proud he has been a KGB man and still rules the FSB? Or the FSB paid you for your words? What kind of Jew are you? Don’t you know that millions Jews underwent horrible persecution in the former USSR from the KGB? S.Udaltsov hasn’t yet been found guilty in all slander you have poured on him. So, what is your agenda? Please, do try to behave in honorable way!
In Response

by: Jacob from: Israel
October 20, 2012 12:15 AM
I am Jewish but I was born in Russia and lived there for a lng time. I think in a free country anyone can become President as long as he is talented enough no matter what his previous job was (KGB agent or not). Russia is a peaceful nation and russians are peace lovers in genenal. Russians and jews always live in harmony. We have not seen any difference in government's treatment between the two. FSB did not pay me anything for my words but I do not want my place of birth to jump into a civil war of plundge into disorder. Someone may pay you for blacken Putin, but I am sure no one will pay you for blacken me. So It is you who must behave honourably and show responsibility towards your fatherland. Stop selling your country at a cheap price!

by: Jacob from: Israel
October 18, 2012 3:41 AM
Sergei Udaltsov is nothing more than a traitor to his country. He's received foreign dirty money to blacken Putin, to create complete disorder in his own country in order to gain power using the so-called "democracy". If he was not punished, Russia would go to civil war and Western countries would clap their hands for it.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
October 17, 2012 10:21 PM
What Putin’s regime perpetrates with Udaltsov is one more thriller in the making: a state TV “by accident” spies on private life in a “free country”, makes documentary and airs it nation-wide. All talks, if they aren’t bluff, are portrayed as a plot to overthrow a ruler who is “lawfully” elected for unprecedented third term. Prosecutors don’t see gross breach in the law in the TV broadcaster’s doings but turn all talks into “hard facts and proved evidence”. Why Hollywood hasn’t got inspired to produce a definite hit about a ruler in the largest country who stops at nothing to cling to power for ever? For sure it’ll be a spectacular blockbuster with castles, helicopters, yachts, diamonds, dozens murdered and it’ll make the world shudder.
In Response

by: Jacob from: Israel
October 18, 2012 11:06 PM
If Udaltsov had not done something wrong, he would have nothing to worry about. A free country does not mean anyone can do any bad thing to national security and to others without being monitored, tried and punished. Receiving dirty money from hostile countries for a plan to blacken people, stir up disorder and overthow the government under the so-called "democracy movement", putting national security in danger are acts of treason. If you supported those traitors, Russia would soon go into a bloody civil war.

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