Russian authorities arrest ex-mayor Yevgeny Roizman over social media posts
former mayor of Russia’s fourth-largest city has been arrested on charges that could land him in prison, as part of a crackdown on anti-Kremlin dissent.
Prominent opposition politican Yevgeny Roizman was detained by police on Thursday, after allegedly reposting material that referenced the organisation led by jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny that was banned by authorities.
Mr Roizman’s lawyer rejects the accusations, saying the ex-mayor was not even registered on the social network where the material appeared, and that the repost was done by members of one of his support groups.
If convicted Mr Roizman could face a 15-day arrest or new criminal charges related to the alleged violation of the terms of his sentence last year.
Mr Roizman is one of the most visible and charismatic opposition figures in Russia.
He enjoyed broad popularity while serving as mayor of Yekaterinburg, a city of 1.5 million people in the Ural Mountains, from 2013 to 2018.
Last year, the 60-year-old faced accusations of discrediting the Russian military and was barred from attending public events, using the internet, telephone or mail and communicating with anyone other than his lawyers and close family.
Days after President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine last year, Russian legislators approved legislation that outlawed the alleged disparagement of the Russian military or the spread of “false information” about the country’s military operation in Ukraine.
Courts across the country have increasingly handed out prison terms to critics of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Mr Roizman remains one of the few visible opposition figures in Russia who had not yet been been jailed or fled the country under pressure from authorities.
Another prominent opposition politician, Ilya Yashin, was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison on charges of discrediting the military, and another, Vladimir Kara-Murza, has been jailed on the same charges and is facing trial.