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12 Jan, 2024 18:34

Russian far-left activist arrested for ‘justifying terrorism’

Sergey Udaltsov ended up in custody after rallying support for fellow leftists, suspected of plotting terrorism and insurrection
Russian far-left activist arrested for ‘justifying terrorism’

A Moscow court on Friday authorized the arrest of Sergey Udaltsov, the founder of the ‘Leftist Front’ group, placing him into a pre-trial detention for a month. The far-left activist stands accused of “justifying terrorism” through the internet, with the maximum penalty for the offense being seven years in prison.

The charges against Udaltsov stem from remarks made by the activist on social media last year, in which he expressed support for five defendants in the case of the “Marxist circle” busted in the city of Ufa in 2023.

The five activists, including a local leader of the ‘Leftist Front,’ are suspected of creating a terrorist group and seeking to overthrow the government. The case made it to court in September, yet no ruling has been made so far.

Udaltsov dismissed the charges against him as “nonsense,” arguing that given the fact that the activists whom he supported had not been convicted as of yet, his remarks could not be treated as terrorism support.

“Investigators interpret the study of Marxism as terrorism. Moral support for people who have not yet been convicted cannot by any means be a justification for anything, including terrorism,” Udaltsov asserted.

Udaltsov has had multiple run-ins with Russian law, repeatedly ending up in detention over participation in unauthorized gatherings and rallies. Back in 2014, he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years behind bars for organizing mass riots in Moscow in May 2012, as well as plotting to stir up civil disorder elsewhere in Russia.

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