Leonid Gozman, a Russian opposition politician, votes during a party meeting held in Moscow on November 16, 2008.
Russian police have detained Leonid Gozoman, an opposition politician on Monday (25/7), his lawyer stated. This was after a criminal investigation into his alleged failures to promptly inform authorities about his Israeli citizenship.
Mikhail Biryukov’s lawyer for Gozman, stated on Facebook that he was taken into custody at the entrance of the Frunzenskaya Metro Station by metro police officers.
Gozman was the last leader of a small political party called the Union of Right Forces. This group brought together reformers who believe in free markets such as Anatoly Chubais (who has since left Russia) and Boris Nemtsov (who was killed in 2015 near the Kremlin).
Political dissent in Russia has been more dangerous since the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. Protesters are regularly arrested, and any criticism of the war is likely to be prosecuted.
Gozman had publicly argued that President Vladimir Putin inflicted greater damage on Russia than any other Russian leader since Josef Stalin by invading Ukraine. This was despite the fact that post-Soviet Russia had effectively died with the war.
Putin said that his “special military operation in Ukraine” was necessary because the West was using Ukraine as a threat to Russia and that he needed to protect Russian-speakers from persecution.
According to the Western backers of Ukraine, Putin does not have any justification for the war. He is determined on retaking a neighbor that had been long under Moscow’s control before turning toward the West in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Last month, Gozman was officially listed as a “foreign agent”, which Russia refers to as someone who receives money or is under the influence foreigners.
According to the interior ministry, he has been added to a federal wanted listing. It was unclear why.
Gozman stated in his Telegram last post: “For those who wish and can protest, be careful, remember, what was almost free yesterday, a small fine, can cost freedom today.”
“Only if your understanding of what you will be paying with is sufficient – then go ahead and may God bless you. Don’t give up, everyone else.
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