Russia frees ex-mayor but he still faces charges for remarks

Aug 24, 2022, 8:11 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2022, 8:12 am

A Russian court on Thursday ordered the release of a former mayor of the country’s fourth-largest city from custody pending an investigation and trial on the charges he is facing for criticizing Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Yevgeny Roizman, 59, who served as the mayor of Yekaterinburg from 2013 to 2018, was allowed to walk free, but was barred from attending public events, using the internet, telephone or mail and communicating with anyone other than his lawyers and close family.

Police arrested Roizman on Wednesday. He told reporters the case against him was launched under a new law adopted after Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

Russian courts fined Roizman three times earlier this year on similar charges, paving the way for a criminal case the law authorizes for repeat offenders.

Roizman, a sharp critic of the Kremlin, is one of the most visible and charismatic opposition figures in Russia. During his tenure as mayor, he enjoyed broad popularity in Yekaterinburg, a city of 1.5 million in the Ural Mountains.

His arrest triggered protests in his support, and one demonstrator was detained and ordered to serve 15 days in jail.

Roizman said the criminal charges against him were triggered by him calling the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine an “invasion.” The Kremlin describes it as a “special military operation.”

Days after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russia’s Kremlin-controlled parliament approved legislation that outlawed alleged disparaging of the Russian military or the spread of “false information” about the country’s military operation in Ukraine.

Russian courts have increasingly handed out fines and, occasionally, prison terms to critics of Moscow’s action in Ukraine.

OVD-Info, a legal aid group that tracks political arrests in Russia, has counted 90 criminal cases on charges of spreading false information about the Russian military since Feb. 24.

According to Net Freedoms, another legal aid group focused on free speech cases, as of mid-August there were up to 4,000 administrative cases on charges of disparaging the armed forces.

Roizman remains one of the few visible opposition figures in Russia who had not yet been been jailed or fled the country under pressure from authorities. Two other prominent opposition politicians, Ilya Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza, were arrested under the same law as Roizman and face up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.

Similar charges were recently brought against eight close associates of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most well-known critic. All of them have left Russia after they became the subjects of multiple criminal investigations.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Gov. Phil Bryant speaks about his legacy following a life of public service, Jan. 8, 2020, i...
Associated Press

Texts: Favre also sought welfare money for football facility

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — After Mississippi spent millions of dollars in welfare money on Brett Favre’s pet project, a university volleyball arena, the retired NFL quarterback tried two years later to get additional cash from the state’s welfare agency for another sports facility, new court documents show. The governor at the time, Republican Phil Bryant, […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Man arrested in California plotted mass shooting

CHICO, Calif. (AP) — A 37-year-old man was arrested Sunday in Northern California on suspicion of threatening to kill police officers and planning a “Las Vegas-style” mass shooting, authorities said. The suspect was taken into custody by SWAT officers at a Super 8 motel in Chico after detectives obtained evidence of his plot, according to […]
17 hours ago
A sedan is wedged between a small, black pickup truck and the Bagel Time Cafe in Wildwood, N.J., ea...
Associated Press

Official: 2 killed amid crashes during pop-up NJ car rally

WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A pop-up car rally over the weekend in southern New Jersey led to multiple crashes and the deaths of at least two people riding in a golf cart, officials say. Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron told NJ Advance Media on Sunday that there were a series of car crashes related to the […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Little evidence of political argument before teen’s death

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — There is little indication that an 18-year-old who died after being struck by an SUV in North Dakota was a political extremist like the driver claimed. Investigators say none of the witnesses they have interviewed support the idea that there was a political argument before authorities say Shannon Brandt struck Cayler […]
17 hours ago
Demonstrators hold placards outside the Iranian Embassy in London, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. They wer...
Associated Press

Unrest erupts near Iranian embassy in London over death

LONDON (AP) — Violent street protests erupted outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sunday, with rocks thrown at police and five protesters arrested. Large crowds have been gathering all week outside the Knightsbridge compound in protest against the death in Iranian police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iran. She had been arrested by […]
2 days ago
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz Canel walks with his wife Lis Cuesta Peraza before casting his vote at...
Associated Press

Cuba holds unusual vote on law allowing same-sex marriage

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba held a rare referendum Sunday on an unusually contentious law — a government-backed “family law” code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt, as well as outlining the rights of children and grandparents. Cuba holds parliamentary elections every two years, though no party other than the Communist is allowed, […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Russia frees ex-mayor but he still faces charges for remarks