Kremlin critic Dmitry Gudkov says his Russia exit is a tactical retreat

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov is seen near court building before the trial of a member of a Moscow district council Yulia Galyamina, who is charged with multiple violations of the country’s public gathering and protest law, in Mo

By Sergiy Karazy and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber

KYIV (Reuters) -Russian opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov said on Monday his decision to leave Russia was a temporary and tactical retreat because he could no longer practice politics effectively due to unprecedented pressure from the authorities.

Gudkov, who was held in custody for two days last week in a case he said was fabricated, said on Sunday he had left Russia after receiving warnings from people close to the Kremlin that he would be arrested if he remained in the country.

Gudkov, who sat in Russia’s lower house of parliament until 2016, had hoped to run for a seat again in September but said the pressure on him and his family from the authorities had made it impossible to pursue politics inside Russia for now.

“I want to return to Russia. This is some sort of a temporary retreat, to gather up strength and move on… into the battle,” he told Reuters in an interview after his arrival in Kyiv.

“If I did not leave, they would have started repression against me and my whole family. They gave me very little time,” he said.

“I thought I am not ready to sacrifice the lives and health of my relatives and friends, and allies for the sake of some hypothetical rise to power in 2024,” he said, referring to the next Russian presidential election.

See also  EXPLAINER: What we know about AstraZeneca blood clot reports

The Kremlin says that legal cases against Gudkov and other opposition figures ahead of this year’s parliamentary election are not connected to politics.

A number of activists critical of the Kremlin have been put under house arrest, fled the country or been jailed on charges they say are politically motivated.

He has accused the Kremlin of cracking down on the opposition to make it impossible for independent candidates to run in this year’s parliamentary election. The Kremlin has denied trying to clear the field of political opponents.

Gudkov told Ukrainian television on Monday that he would join his parents in Bulgaria after completing previously scheduled engagements in Kyiv.

Gudkov’s father Gennady is a former politician and Kremlin critic who relocated to the Bulgarian port city of Varna in 2019 as a precaution.

Gudkov said he wanted to return to Russia but could not say when. “It is indeed unprecedented pressure,” he told Reuters. “It is not clear how the situation will develop after the election, from which almost all the prominent critics of the regime have been barred.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

See also  Need to develop proper matrix to understand changes in economy: Suresh Prabhu

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here