Protest Leader Udaltsov may Face New Charges

Russian protest leader Sergei Udaltsov may face immediate re-arrest on charges of inciting mass disorder when he is freed from a Moscow detention facility early on Thursday, his lawyer has said.

“A source has informed me that they plan to detain Udaltsov for 48 hours right after he gets out,” lawyer Violetta Volkova told the Rapsi legal news agency.

Left Front leader Udaltsov was a key figure in protests against the inauguration of President Vladimir Putin and was sentenced to 15 days after being detained for a third time in as many days on May 8.

He had earlier been detained at a mass protest in Moscow on the eve of Putin’s May 7 return to the Kremlin. That rally saw serious clashes between police and demonstrators and some 400 arrests.

Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny was also detained during the protests that followed Putin’s inauguration and was likewise sentenced to 15 days. Navalny is also due to be released on Thursday.

Well-connected television presenter Ksenia Sobchak said earlier this month that Kremlin sources had told her the authorities plan to jail both Udaltsov and Navalny for two years over the downtown Moscow riots ahead of Putin’s inauguration.

Udaltsov has been on hunger strike over his arrest and has twice been admitted to hospital during his 15-day sentence.


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