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Russian Activist Charged With Slandering Cathedral

A jewelry kiosk outside Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow
The chairman of Russia's Consumer Rights Defense Society has been charged with slander for comments he made about Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. reported that Mikhail Anshakov was summoned to the Moscow police department, where he was informed of the charges and travel restrictions were imposed.

The plaintiff is Vasily Poddevalin, the director of the Christ the Savior Cathedral Fund.

Poddevalin filed the slander charges over Anshakov's comments to the "Novaya gazeta" newspaper in September.

Anshakov is accused of saying that cathedral has turned into a business center "accommodating 15 commercial firms, a car wash, a car maintenance center," and other enterprises.

Under legislation passed last year in Russia, slander is a criminal offense.

Last month, Anshakov was beaten by unknown assailants in Moscow. The motive remains unclear.

Based on reporting by and Interfax