Opposition Activist In Altai Krai Flees Russia, Fearing For Safety

A prominent opposition activist and public figure in Russia's Altai Krai region, Aidar Kudirmekov, has fled the country in fear for his safety.

Kudirmekov told RFE/RL on June 3 that he had obtained asylum in a European Union country, but he did not name it due to security concerns.

Kudirmekov said he decided to leave Russia after local authorities began investigating him on suspicion of financial fraud charges in May and started the process of forcibly placing him in a psychiatric facility.

He told RFE/RL those actions were politically motivated retaliation for public statements in which he accused local authorities of corruption, embezzlement, and an incompetent response to heavy flooding in the Altai Krai earlier this year.

In April, a local court stripped Kudirmekov of his mandate on the Kyrlyk village council, citing inaccurate information on his 2016 income declaration.

Kudirmekov said at the time that the court decision was also politically motivated.