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Russia’s independence day: Calls for freedom from Putin
Tens of thousands brave weather, tough law
“Some people forced their way in at 8 a.m., gave me no chance to get dressed, robbed the apartment and humiliated me,” TV celebrity turned dissident Kseniya Sobchak said in a Twitter post. “I never thought we would return to such repression in this country.”
Investigators said they had seized $1.7 million from a safe in Ms. Sobchak’s apartment and would investigate to determine whether she had paid taxes.
The home of well-known blogger and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny also was raided.
Mr. Navalny said investigators had taken a wide range of items from his apartment, including computer equipment, photos of his two children and a T-shirt mocking the ruling United Russia party.
Eye on opposition leaders
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington was “deeply concerned by the apparent harassment of Russian political opposition figures on the eve of the planned demonstrations on June 12.”
“These measures raise serious questions about the arbitrary use of law enforcement to stifle free speech and free assembly,” she said.
Protest leaders, including Mr. Udaltsov, were ordered to report to federal investigators Tuesday for questioning in connection with the violence at May’s demonstration.
Mr. Udaltsov, who is the leader of the Left Front opposition movement, ignored the summons.
“The authorities seem to think that if the protest leaders don’t turn up, the people won’t gather,” Solidarity leader Ilya Yashin told journalists outside the Investigation Committee offices.
Opposition figures have vowed to keep up the pressure on Mr. Putin, calling for mass protests in September and ahead of the former KGB officer’s 60th birthday in October.
Protesters have accused Mr. Putin, who returned to the Kremlin in May after four years as prime minister preceded by eight years as president, of corruption and implementing a crackdown on political freedoms.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
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White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow