Russian Opposition Politician Gudkov Says He Has Left Country Amid Fear Of Arrest

Dmitry Gudkov  

Russian opposition politician and former lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov said he has fled the country amid concern he could be arrested on what he called trumped up charges.

Gudkov was detained in Moscow on June 1 over an allegedly unpaid debt on a rented property dating from several years ago. He was released on June 3 without being formally charged.

"I am approaching Kyiv," he said on Facebook in a June 6 post he confirmed to AFP as genuine. “Several sources close to the presidential administration said that if I do not leave the country, the fake criminal case will continue until my arrest.”

Aleksei Navalny, the most prominent Russian opposition leader, was detained in January as he arrived from Germany on charges of violating his parole and sentenced to serve 2 1/2 years in prison.

He said he believed the case was launched to force him out of the country at least until parliamentary elections in September. Gudkov is a former member of parliament.

“I hope that with my departure, the zeal of the gendarmes will decrease. My decision was supported by my family and friends, who also received serious information about threats and risks,” he said in the Facebook post.

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Russian authorities opened a criminal case against his father, Gennady Gudkov, a former State Duma deputy and Kremlin critic who lives in Bulgaria, on June 3 over ammunition allegedly found at his apartment in Russia, local media reported.

According to media reports, the ammunition was found during a search conducted in the case involving his son.

There was no official confirmation of the criminal case against Gennady Gudkov from officials.

With reporting by AFP

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