Russia adopts ‘extremist’ bill and arrests opposition figures | DW News

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    With just months to go before elections, Russia’s government is cracking down on the opposition. At least two Kremlin critics have been arrested.

    At St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport on Monday, Russian opposition politician Andrei Pivovarov was pulled off an aircraft just minutes before takeoff. The scene was strongly reminiscent of the recent detention of Belarusian blogger Roman Pratasevich. In Pivovarov’s case, the aircraft was stopped just before takeoff rather than forced to make an emergency landing under a clearly fabricated pretext.

    Pivovarov was taken from St. Petersburg to the southern Russian city of Krasnodar, where he faces trial. There is speculation about the reasons for his transfer. According to official sources, Pivovarov is accused of promoting an undesirable organization in August 2020. Usmanova suspects that he expressed support on Facebook and other platforms for a former coordinator of Open Russia, who had been convicted. Like her, Pivovarov was initially found guilty of a civil offense and fined twice. Now he, too, faces criminal charges. Recently, Pivovarov appeared in YouTube and took part in protests calling for the release of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. His apartment was raided after his arrest.

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    Alexei Navalny is a Russian opposition leader, politician, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist. He came to international prominence by organizing demonstrations and running for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, president Vladimir Putin, and Putin’s government.

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    Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.

    Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.

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