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Opposition Politician In Siberia Granted Asylum In Lithuania

A Russian opposition politician from Siberia says he has fled to Lithuania, where he obtained political asylum.

Aleksei Shitik told RFE/RL on December 13 that he left his native town of Asino in the Tomsk region in September after receiving threats from unknown individuals.

He also learned that local prosecutors were about to launch an investigation into allegations that he had incited racial hatred toward Chinese citizens working in the region.

Shitik said he started facing problems after he received 25 percent of the votes in the mayoral elections in Asino in September 2017, in which he was running as a candidate of the opposition Yabloko party.

Shitik had previously worked as an investigative journalist and faced pressure from local authorities and politicians.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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