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Freed Activist Udaltsov Summoned Over Bolotnaya Protests

Sergei Udaltsov Zykov Kirill / Moskva News Agency

A left-wing activist who was released from prison in August for organizing anti-government demonstrations in 2012, was summoned on Wednesday as a witness in an investigation into the mass rallies.

“The Investigative Committee officially informed me that I am summoned … for questioning as a witness on Sept. 8,” Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov wrote on Twitter.

Udaltsov was released in early August after serving a 4.5-year term for organizing protests that turned violent on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration on May 6, 2012. 

Dozens were charged in a string of cases known as the Bolotnaya case which rights groups criticised as politically motivated.

In an interview with the opposition-leaning Dozhd television channel on Wednesday, Udaltsov said “the investigation won’t see me testifying against someone else.” 

He also said the summons could be intended as a form of “exerting moral pressure on me.” 

Less than a month after his release, Russian media reported that investigators wanted to question Udaltsov again.

“Seems like the investigation must have forgotten something over the five years,” Udaltsov wrote in a follow-up Twitter post. 

Most of those convicted in connection with the Bolotnaya case have since been released. One has been transferred to a mental health facility, while the trial of another activist is still continuing, according to the Mediazona news website.

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