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Police Raid Activists' Homes in Voronezh

Police on Wednesday morning searched the homes of two Voronezh activists as part of an investigation a local lawyer believes is connected to the case against jailed leftist Leonid Razvozzhayev.

Lawyer Olga Gnezdilova said the searches were conducted at about 7 a.m. by members of the police's anti-extremism division, who obtained a non-disclosure pledge from one of the activists, Alexander Boldyrev, and led another, Natalya Zvyagina, away for questioning, RIA-Novosti reported.

Boldyrev is a co-chairman of the Solidarity movement's local chapter while Zvyagina works as a director of Transparency International's Voronezh office, Interfax said.

Local police confirmed that they had conducted searches at the activists' flats but did not say what they were looking for.

Gnezdilova suggested that the searches were part of the ongoing investigation into opposition activists including Razvozzhayev, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and his assistant Konstantin Lebedev.

The three stand accused of charges including plotting mass riots across Russia. The charges, which have been widely condemned in opposition circles as politically motivated, stem from a documentary-style program broadcast on state-controlled NTV and carry a maximum 10-year sentence.

Lebedev and Razvozzhayev have been kept in pre-trail detention since October.

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