Estonia Grants Asylum to Russian Environmentalist

MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – Estonia has granted asylum to Russian environmentalist Suren Gazaryan, who found himself on a national wanted list after coming out with reports about “Putin’s palace” and other mansions allegedly owned by top Russian officials.

Gazaryan was granted a three-year residency permit in the European Union member state, his group, the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus, said in a statement Tuesday.

The 38-year-old activist is wanted in Russia on accusations of threatening to kill a guard at “Putin’s Palace,” on the coast of the southern Black Sea.

Gazaryan, who fled Russia after landing on the national wanted list in December, earlier called the case a fabrication created to punish him for informing the public about environmental issues.

He has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin and the governor of the southern Krasnodar region, Alexander Tkachev, of building for themselves posh mansions on protected land. Spokespeople for both men have denied the allegations. Gazaryan is also on the Opposition’s Coordination Council, an unofficial body aiming to represent all opponents of Putin’s government.

Russian police had not commented on Gazaryan’s asylum by late Tuesday.


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