Moscow police on Monday reportedly detained one of the few politicians openly opposing the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine who remains in Russia.
A journalist friend said Ilya Yashin, a municipal deputy, was taken into custody while they walked in a Moscow park. The journalist, Irina Babloyan, told the Tass news agency he was taken to a detention facility in the Russian capital’s Luzhniki neighborhood.
After charges of discrediting the Russian army were filed against him last month, Yashin said he wouldn’t run away or retract his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Latvia-based independent Russian news site Meduza reported.
Russian authorities have been cracking down on war critics since adopting a law criminalizing spreading false information about its military shortly after its troops rolled into Ukraine in late February. The offense is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Human rights advocates have counted dozens of cases.
Aside from criminal prosecutions, public figures in Russia have reportedly faced pressure from the authorities publicly to announce their support of the country’s operation in Ukraine.