FILE PHOTO: Andrei Pivovarov, who was then chief of the Open Russia pro-democracy group, attends a discussion board of unbiased members of municipal councils in Moscow, Russia March 13, 2021. Image taken March 13, 2021. Kommersant Photograph/Alexander Miridonov by way of REUTERS/File Photograph
June 8, 2021
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia charged opposition activist Andrei Pivovarov on Tuesday with collaborating in an “undesirable” organisation, an offence which an ally stated was punishable by as much as six years in jail.
Pivovarov was director of Open Russia, a pro-democracy group that’s linked to exiled former oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Open Russia stated final month it was ceasing operations in Russia to guard its workers from a crackdown on the opposition.
Pivovarov was arrested days later, after police hauled him off a aircraft in St Petersburg that was about to take off for Poland.
He was flown to southern Russia the place a courtroom ordered him to be held in custody for 2 months pending trial.
Pivovarov has stated the case is politically motivated and geared toward stopping him collaborating in a parliamentary election in September. The Kremlin denies the case is political.
Russia declared the London-based Open Russia group “undesirable” in 2017, in impact banning its actions.
Tatyana Usmanova, a former coordinator at Open Russia, has stated the allegation in opposition to Pivovarov pertains to a Fb submit from a 12 months in the past voicing help for candidates working in municipal elections. He may withstand six years in jail if convicted, she stated.
Police have additionally opened a brand new felony case in opposition to him, accusing him of failing to register certainly one of his teams as a “overseas agent”, Pivovarov’s Telegram account stated. That’s punishable by a high quality of as much as 300,000 roubles ($4,150), it stated.
($1 = 72.3600 roubles)
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; enhancing by Timothy Heritage)