opponent Dmitry Gudkov says he fled to Ukraine

The 41-year-old was arrested this week.

Opponent and former Russian deputy Dmitry Gudkov announced on Sunday that he had left Russia for Ukraine because of pressure from the Moscow authorities ahead of the parliamentary elections in September.

“I am approaching Kiev”, he wrote on a Facebook post whose authenticity he confirmed to AFP, adding that sources close to the Kremlin had told him that if he did not leave the country, he would be arrested in a “false»Criminal case mounted against him.

Dmitry Gudkov, 41, was arrested this week, along with another prominent opponent, Andrei Pivovarov, who was pulled from a plane ready to take off for Poland. The former deputy was arrested in a case of unpaid rents in 2015 and risked up to five years in prison. His supporters saw his arrest as a form of punishment for wanting to run for office.

He was released Thursday evening without any charges being brought against him – a rare turnaround on the part of Russian authorities. His relatives welcomed his release but suggested that he would not be allowed to run for legislative elections this fall.

On Twitter, he posted the above photo after his release.

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