Unknown Attackers Burn Activist's Car In Russia's Kalmykia

ELISTA, Russia -- Unknown attackers have burned a car belonging to rights activist and vlogger Maksim Tsedenov in Russia's Republic of Kalmykia in an arson attack that he says is linked to his activities.

Tsedenov told RFE/RL that the arson attack took place in Kalmykia's capital, Elista, over the weekend.

"Police are looking into the possibility that I burned my car myself seeking to get insurance money. But I am confident that the attack is linked to my civic position and video blogs, criticizing the authorities," Tsedenov said.

Tsedenov also said that traffic police suspended his driver's license for three years recently for two alleged violations of traffic regulations, which he rejects.

He added that he kept his car next to the home of his friend, which is where it was attacked by unknown arsonists on March 5.

"After the September elections, the hunt began for me, and I decided to produce fewer materials in order to save resources until the next elections. I took a car loan because I was expecting the birth of two children. I wanted to drive my pregnant wife around and also to work as a taxi driver," Tsedenov added.

Last August, in the Rostov region that neighbors Kalmykia, unknown arsonists destroyed the house of an opposition activist and blogger, Sergei Shalygin, who was a candidate in an election for the Aksai city council at the time.