Ex-wife accuses prominent Russian opposition member of pedophilia

Blogger Rustem Adagamov (RIA Novosti/Kirill Kallinikov)
One of Russia's most popular bloggers and a prominent opposition member, Rustem Adagamov, is facing accusations from his ex-wife, who claims he raped an underage girl on multiple occasions for an extended period of time.

­The scandal broke as the video of Adagamov`s ex-wife Tatyana Delsal`s interview appeared online. In the video Delsal, who was Adagamov`s wife for 20 years and  now lives in Norway, says that her ex-husband had sexually abused a 12-year-old girl and that the harassment continued for a “long  time.” However, Delsal did not specify when the abuse took place or for how long it continued.

According to Delsal, she learnt about the matter from the victim herself, who still cannot recover from the traumatic experience and has to visit a psychologist on a regular basis.

The interview was followed by the publication of alleged online correspondence between Delsal and Adagamov dated June and July. In the alleged conversation Adagamov begged Delsal not to go public with the matter, saying this would be a “mountain high” scandal that will destroy his career.

Adagamov sharply denied the accusations writing on his Twitter account that the interview was edited, calling it all “nonsense.”

Despite growing social media hype, no legal action has been taken against Adagamov so far. Neither Delsal nor the alleged victim has contacted police on the matter, Norwegian officials said. While Russian authorities admit that the reports should not be neglected, but say that the situation needs to be carefully investigated.

Meanwhile, Adagamov says he does not rule out that he may sue for slander those publicly accusing him of pedophilia. The action, however, will not affect his wife, as according to Adagamov “she is still his family.”

“Guys, try to understand I am a man, and I can`t talk badly about my ex-wife. I lived with her for 20 years. That`s why I will keep silent,” he tweeted.

Adagamov, also known as Livejournal blogger Drugoi (The other), is a prominent member of the Russian opposition who was recently elected into the Opposition Coordination Council. He has been actively participating in the oppositional rallies in Moscow. Adagamov also publicly condemned the recently-adopted so-called Dima Yakovlev bill, which bans the adoption of Russian children by US citizens.

Rustem Adagamov became popular due to an illustrated blog where he writes about the latest news, posting pictures from international news agencies as well as his own pictures. In 2009, Adagamov was invited to the Kremlin, where he photographed then-President Dmitry Medvedev, the blogger later accompanied Medvedev on several official trips.