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Wife of Jailed Opposition Activist Describes Burglary as 'Like a Set-Up'

Anastasia Zotova

The wife of opposition activist Ildar Dadin has described the burglary of her apartment as “very much like a set-up,” the Mediazone news website reported Wednesday.

Anastasia Zotova wrote about the break-in and robbery at her Moscow home on Twitter. Police have arrested Mikhail Barbotkin, an activist and friend of Zotova, in connection with the crime.

“I know for sure that he could not do it. It seems to me that all this is very much a setup,” Zotova was quoted by the Mediazona website. Zotova describes Barbotkin was a friend and said that “she didn't believe he could be involved in the incident.” She has suggested that the robbery and the activist's detention could be linked with Barbotkin's ongoing work.

Mikhail Barbotkin is an active participant in a group of local activists who have been protesting the construction of a football stadium on Moscow's Park Druzhba in the north of the city for almost a year.

Zotova entered the apartment she was renting at Smolensky Bulvar in central Moscow at around 8 P.M. and found her things scattered, the Meduza news website reported.

She said the thieves took several tens of thousand of rubles and wrote “scum” on the mirror with her lipstick. Zotova also claimed that her international passport had been stolen.

The Police detained Barbotkin after studying video footage from surveillance cameras showing a person resembling the activist entering and leaving the building at around 6 pm. Zotova has questioned the authenticity of the video, saying that she remembers it raining as she made her way home at the time in question, Mediazona reported. There was no rain visible in the footage, she said.

Zotova is a wife of Moscow activist Ildar Dadin, who was found guilty of repeatedly breaking Russian protest laws and sentenced to three years at a penal colony in December. The sentence was later reduced by six months.

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