Putin Critic Alexei Navalny’s Chief Of Staff On Russian Political Suppression | Ayman mohyeldin
Activist Ruslan Shaveddinov taken to a military base in the Arctic
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on Wednesday that the forced conscription of one of his associates into military service was tantamount to kidnapping and illegal imprisonment..
Ruslan Shaveddinov, an employee of the Anti-Corruption Fund founded by Navalny, was detained at his home in Moscow. Before that, the police cut off the electricity in his apartment, broke down the door and remotely blocked the SIM card in his mobile phone..
On Tuesday evening, Shaveddinov found himself at a military base on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, where an air defense regiment is stationed.
According to Navalny, Shaveddinov, who had previously tried to challenge the appeal on medical grounds, managed to make one call on Wednesday from someone else’s phone..
He said that he would not be allowed to use the phone during a year of military service and that another soldier was assigned to him for constant surveillance..
As Navalny said, Shaveddinov’s lawyers will appeal against the appeal and will insist that he was unlawfully kidnapped and imprisoned.
“Service in the army has become just a prison mechanism. A kind of imprisonment, “Navalny wrote in social networks..
Opposition activists compare Shaveddinov’s situation with links in Tsarist Russia and the USSR.
Shaveddinov participated in the preparation of Navalny’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2018, worked as a presenter on Navalny’s online channel, and also helped manage projects at FBK, whose specialists publish anti-corruption investigations about officials and prominent businessmen.
The head of the Union of Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers Valentina Melnikova, in an interview with Reuters, expressed serious concern about how Shaveddinov was treated.
“It’s definitely illegal,” she says..
However, the deputy military commissar of Moscow, Colonel Maxim Loktev, told the TASS news agency that Shaveddinov had long been hiding from the draft and that the court on Monday recognized his appeal as legal.
Military service for a year in Russia is compulsory for all citizens between the ages of 18 and 27, with rare exceptions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Shaveddinov was treated legally if he dodged the draft.
“If he dodged the draft, he was breaking the law,” Peskov said. – If he evaded and was thus called up, then everything is done in strict accordance with the law “.
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