MOSCOW, October 19 (Itar-Tass) — The central newspapers are discussing actively the arrest of Konstantin Lebedev, an aide to Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov. Udaltsov was released on recognizance not to leave the city. The detectives found that in the autumn of 2012 both of them were planning to stage massive disorders along with “violence, looting and arsons” in Moscow and several other cities. They were planning to attract 35,000 people in the disorders. The NTV film Anatomy of Protest-2 showed their plans and the accusations against the oppositionists were actually based on the film. According to public figures, all this looks like an epoch of repressions in the previous century.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily recalled that the searches were made in the flats of Sergei Udaltsov and Konstantin Lebedev on Wednesday under the criminal case, which was opened after the film Anatomy of Protest-2. After the searches both of them were taken to the Russian Investigation Committee for interrogation. Lebedev was detained for 48 hours, as hunting cartridges were found in his flat. Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov hurried to inform his supporters about his detention before the interrogation. However, after the interrogation the detective released the oppositionist without bringing accusations against him, just putting him on recognizance not to leave the city. But his aide will stay in the detention centre until December 16. The whereabouts of the third defendant Leonid Razvozzhayev, an aide to deputy Ilya Ponomarev, were not found yet.
Udaltsov still denies the fact of a meeting with head of the Georgian parliamentary defence committee Givi Targamadze that was showed in the film, the Kommersant daily reported. “We really met with several possible sponsors of our political activities, but did not meet with Targamadze. The meetings with potential sponsors are normal for any politician, we had never discussed something illegal with anyone,” he told the newspaper. According to the Left Front leader, only his popularity saved him from the arrests, “The state authorities decided not to play with the fire, leaving me at large as one of active participants in the protest movement.” However, a Kommersant source acquainted with the progress of the investigation claimed that the detectives really consider Lebedev as the main initiator of the meetings with representatives of the foreign authorities. According to the source, it was him who was responsible for the search for potential sponsors and the arrangement of the meetings with them.
“I had an absolutely clear idea that we came back to the times of the politicized witch hunt,” former State Duma deputy Gennady Gudkov stated.
Human rights activist Valery Borshchev, who is cited by the Novye Izvestia daily, believes that the society should focus attention on the criminal persecution of Sergei Udaltsov and his supporters. “This is the launch of a campaign of the struggle against dissidence and opposition,” the public figure said with confidence. “The stylistics of the speeches of the state authorities and their actions remind of the Stalinist era and the period of repressions in the previous century,” he noted. Borshchev noted that the society should give a tough rebuff to such actions. The public figure believes that massive arrests of political oppositionists are quite real already in the near future. As the whole package of tough laws on rallies, libel was enacted for the purpose, and now a broader interpretation of such term as high treason is being prepared.