News / Europe

Ukraine Blames 'Foreign' Security Forces in Russian Activist's Disappearance

This undated photo shows Leonid Razvozzhayev speaking in an undisclosed location and is provided by the Associated Press Television News, October 22, 2012.This undated photo shows Leonid Razvozzhayev speaking in an undisclosed location and is provided by the Associated Press Television News, October 22, 2012.
x
This undated photo shows Leonid Razvozzhayev speaking in an undisclosed location and is provided by the Associated Press Television News, October 22, 2012.
This undated photo shows Leonid Razvozzhayev speaking in an undisclosed location and is provided by the Associated Press Television News, October 22, 2012.
VOA News
Ukrainian officials say foreign security agencies are responsible for the disappearance of a Russian opposition activist, who said he was kidnapped and forcibly taken to Moscow.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said Thursday it is clear that criminal elements were not involved in last week's disappearance of Leonid Razvozzhayev, an assistant deputy of the opposition Just Russia party. 

Razvozzhayev told human rights activists visiting him in detention earlier this week that he was abducted by masked men in Kyiv, where he had been seeking asylum.  He said he was taken across the Russian border and held in a building for several days, where he was tortured into confessing to plotting mass riots against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The activist's lawyer on Thursday said his client had retracted his confession, saying it had been made under pressure.

Russia's Investigations Committee said Razvozzhayev turned himself in on Sunday in Ukraine and admitted to involvement in organizing mass disturbances in Russia.

In Moscow, the U.S. embassy expressed concern to the Russian government about the activist's situation and requested an investigation into the case.

The United Nations refugee agency also voiced its concern, and stressed that as an asylum-seeker, Razvozzhayev is protected by international refugee law.  The agency's Kyiv office on Monday confirmed that the activist disappeared after registering for asylum last week.

Razvozzhayev was featured in a pro-Kremlin documentary in which he and other activists appeared to plan mass riots and a coup in an effort funded by Georgian politician Givi Targamadze. 

He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Razvozzhayev's arrest follows a criminal probe launched last week by Russian authorities against two other opposition activists on charges they organized riots in May in Moscow.  Left Front party leader Sergei Udaltsov was released and ordered to stay in Moscow, but his aide, Konstantin Lebedev, is in police custody.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs