A close associate of top Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny has applied for political asylum in Britain.
Vladimir Ashurkov, the executive director of Navalny's anticorruption fund, announced his decision on Twitter on October 6.
The former banker helped Navalny expose corruption among the elite and fund his campaign for Moscow mayor last year.
His announcement came after the "Izvestia" daily published what it said was his asylum application.
Ashurkov wrote in the alleged application that "a fabricated criminal case" had been launched against him and that he faced "detention, inhuman conditions, torture, and unfair judicial procedure" if he returned to Russia.
In June, the Investigative Committee issued an arrest warrant for Ashurkov and charged two other allies of Navalny with fraud linked to the financing of his Moscow mayoral bid.