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Russian Senator Calls for Kremlin Critic's Statements to Be Checked for Extremism

A Russian senator has filed a request with the Investigative Committee asking that they examine recent statements by Maria Gaidar — a prominent Russian activist and new deputy governor of Ukraine's Odessa region — concerning the annexation of Crimea for signs of extremism and separatism, official government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Wednesday.

Mikhail Marchenko, a senator in the Federation Council for the Bryansk region, claimed that upon being appointed, Gaidar made statements about Crimea being annexed by Russia and the Russian regime being “authoritarian” and “killing people both in Russia and Ukraine.”

Gaidar accepted an offer last month to become the new deputy governor of Odessa and works in the gubernatorial administration of Mikheil Saakashvili — a former president of Georgia and outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin — who was in late May appointed governor of the Odessa region by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Marchenko suggested that Gaidar should give up her Russian citizenship and identify herself as a Ukrainian, the report said.

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