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Russian Activist To Ask For Political Asylum In Ukraine

Russian civil rights activist Pavel Shekhtman plans to request political asylum in Ukraine.

Shekhtman told RFE/RL by phone on February 16 that he had fled to Ukraine after being sentenced to house arrest in Moscow on February 12 pending trial on charges of "inciting hatred and ethnic discord."

The case was launched in October after Shektman posted online articles supporting Ukraine's efforts to reestablish control over eastern parts of the country held by Russia-back separatists.

Shekhtman has long been critical of the Kremlin's record on human rights in Russia.

On February 14, Russian opposition activist Vladimir Malyshev said Shekhtman had left Russia and was in Ukraine.

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

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