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Ingush Opposition Activist Detained On Illegal Weapons Possession Charge

A prominent opposition activist from Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia has been detained upon arrival to his native region.

The Ingush Interior Ministry on January 11 said Magomed Khazbiyev was detained on his arrival from neighboring Chechnya, where he had been under local government protection since 2015.

Khazbiyev, a fierce critic of Ingush officials and President Vladimir Putin, has been wanted in Ingushetia for alleged illegal weapons possession and insulting an official.

Khazbiyev said earlier that he planned to voluntarily return to Ingushetia to answer questions related to the case against him. He maintains his innocence, saying the charges are politically motivated.

In February 2015, unidentified gunmen opened fire at Khazbiyev's car in the Chechen capital, Grozny, after which Chechen authorities took him under protection.

Khazbiyev, a former chairman of opposition PARNAS party's branch in Ingushetia, has faced pressure from the authorities for years.

In 2014, he was in Kyiv supporting pro-Western protesters who ousted Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych.

Chechnya is ruled by Ramzan Kadyrov, who portrays himself as fiercely loyal to Putin.

With reporting by Kommersant
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