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Russian Police Conduct 'Terrorism' Raid On Independent Municipal Candidates During Corruption Seminar

The United Democrats released this picture of a police raid on their Kazan headquarters.

Russian special forces on July 25 raided the headquarters of the United Democrats movement in the Tatarstan capital Kazan during a seminar on corruption.

The movement, which aims to help independent candidates in municipal elections, said masked police with machine guns stormed its headquarters in the city.

In total, 16 detainees were taken to a police station. Among them was Yekaterina Petrova, the head of the Yekaterinburg branch of the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Petrova had been giving a seminar on how to investigate corruption in public and municipal procurement.

Transparency International said the detainees were interrogated and questioned about knowingly false reporting about an act of terrorism.

After the interrogation, all the detainees were released.

United Democrats was formed to provide assistance to independent candidates in local elections, where the movement believes the best impact on citizens’ lives can be made.

This September they aim to have candidates for municipal elections in four Russian regions, including Tatarstan.

Earlier in July, police in Kazan detained six people at the headquarters of the United Democrats and took them to a police station for drug and alcohol testing.

With reporting by AFP and Meduza