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Opposition leader flees Russia

August 14, 2013, 10:44 UTC+3

Alexei Sakhnin decided to leave the country soon after the information on investigators’ plans to arrest him appeared

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One of the leaders of the Left Front opposition movement, Alexei Sakhnin, also known as an organizer of the Bolotanya Square rally on May 6 marred by clashes with police, asked political asylum in Sweden. Sakhnin told the Kommersant business daily he decided to leave the country soon after the information on investigators’ plans to arrest him appeared. In Sweden the Left Front coordinator plans to continue his political activities.

Alexei Sakhnin has already been staying in Sweden for a month. “At first, I visited countries, where no visas are needed,” he told the daily. “I went to Belarus, then to the Balkans and after this to Sweden, where I managed to pass my first interview in the migration service as a political asylum applicant.”

After Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov accused of plotting riots on Bolotnaya Square had been arrested and put under house arrest, Alexei Sakhnin organized actions in support of persons involved in the so-called Bolotnaya case.

Sakhnin fled Russia fearing criminal prosecution over the Bolotnaya case. He said his fears emerged after law enforcers had made repeated attempts to find his whereabouts. Sakhnin started worrying after officials of the Investigative Committee asked Boltnaya case suspects and witnesses what the activist had done during the May 6 action and what role he played in Left Front.

He took a final decision to leave the country after “one of persons involved in the Bolotnaya case process” told him on May 7 that investigators allegedly planned to arrest him.

According to some estimates, over 30 civil activists, who are afraid of criminal proceedings related to the Bolotnaya case, stay outside Russia, the daily wrote.

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