Russia arrests ex-mayor for ‘discrediting’ army amid Ukraine war

by | Aug 24, 2022 | World

Police arrest opposition figure Yevgeny Roizman, 59 who served as mayor of Yekaterinburg from 2013-2018.The former mayor of Russia’s fourth-largest city has been arrested on charges of undermining the country’s military, part of a crackdown on critics of Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.
Police arrested Yevgeny Roizman, 59, on Wednesday following searches at his apartment and office.
Roizman told reporters he was charged under a new law adopted after Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
Russian courts fined Roizman three times earlier this year on similar charges, paving the way for a criminal case the law authorises for repeat offences.
Russian law enforcement officers and investigators walk out of the office of Roizman Charity Fund, after its founder and politician Yevgeny Roizman was detained in Yekaterinburg, Russia, August 24, 2022 [Reuters]
“The suspect was detained in Yekaterinburg and will be taken to Moscow for investigation,” the Moscow branch of Russia’s interior ministry said in a statement.
It said he faces criminal charges of “discrediting” the Russian army and will be brought to Moscow as part of the investigation.
Roizman, a sharp critic of the Kremlin, is one of the most visible and charismatic opposition figures in Russia. During his tenure as mayor, he enjoyed broad popularity in Yekaterinburg, a city of 1.5 million in the Ural Mountains.
Shortly after his arrest, several local residents picketed in a show of support for the former official.
Cautious words of support also came from Roizman’s longtime political rival, the governor of Russia’s Sverdlovsk region.
“We used to be and continue to be pol …

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