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Russian Nationalist Kremlin Critic Says 'Political Refugee' In EU


Vyacheslav Maltsev (front) takes part in a Russian opposition rally on May 6.

Vyacheslav Maltsev, an outspoken Kremlin critic and leader of an outlawed Russian nationalist opposition movement, says he has become a "political refugee" in the European Union.

In an interview with Current Time, a Russian-language TV network operated jointly by RFE/RL and Voice of America, Maltsev said he fled Russia in July and had to spend some time in custody in an EU country before he was granted documents allowing him to stay there legally.

Maltsev did not say during the November 15 interview in which country he is staying.

Hundreds of Maltsev's supporters and members of his Artpodgotovka (Artillery Bombardment) movement were detained on November 5 at rallies in Moscow and other Russian cities ahead of the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

Maltsev earlier on November 5 had proclaimed the day as the start of "new revolution" to topple Russian President Vladimir Putin's government.

In May, Maltsev was charged in absentia with publicly calling for extremist activities.

Artpodgotovka was banned in October by an order from a regional court in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.

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