The director of Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation has been detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for organizing an anti-election rally in the run-up to Russia’s presidential vote.
Navalny called on his supporters to boycott the March 18 presidential elections after his presidential bid was shut down by election officials late last year over a past fraud conviction. Since calling for the boycott, Navalny’s aides have faced arrests across the country in a government crackdown against the initiative.
Roman Rubanov was detained in the airport early on Tuesday after passing customs and later charged with organizing an anti-election rally in Moscow on January 28.
With less than 30 days remaining until Russia’s elections, Navalny’s campaign manager Leonid Volkov has warned that government pressure against activists is set to increase.
“[They] can lock up anyone that they want to lock up so that they’ll miss the day of voting,” he wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday after Rubanov’s arrest.
“They have charged him with organization of the rally on January 28," Volkov added.
Last month, two Navalny campaign aides were arrested after arriving at the airport in Moscow over the protest on Jan. 28.