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Estonia's Top Pro-Russian Politician Charged With Corruption

Edgar Savisaar

Estonian authorities have filed corruption charges against pro-Moscow politician Edgar Savisaar, the mayor of the capital, Tallinn.

Savisaar is also leader of the opposition Estonian Center Party, which is mainly backed by Estonia's ethnic Russian minority, accounting for one-quarter of the country's population.

A spokesman for the state prosecutor's office, Ilmar Kahro, said on September 22 that Savisaar was detained along with several other suspects.

Kahro said Savisaar allegedly took bribes in 2014-15 in the form of "assets and favors for himself and other persons, valued at several hundred thousand euros."

The arrests come amid concerns in Estonia of interference by neighboring Russia following Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and its involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

Savisaar, 65, had part of his leg amputated this year after being hospitalized in critical condition with a severe infection.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP