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Navalny Probe Accuses Russian Duma Speaker of Graft

Vyacheslav Volodin / Wikimedia Commons

Ahead of hearings on a controversial proposal to raise the retirement age, opposition leader Alexei Navalny is targeting State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, alleging in a video expose that Volodin is covering up his wealth by keeping millions of dollars in assets in his mother’s name. 

Navalny has accused senior government officials of corruption through a series of exposes that have targeted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, among others. Volodin played an important role in President Vladimir Putin’s 2012 presidential victory and has defended a plan to raise the pension age. Protests against the retirement age hike, some led by Navalny, have taken place nationwide since the legislation was first announced.  

In a video report published Thursday, Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation alleges that a spacious 230 million ruble ($3.4 million) apartment in Moscow and 10 companies held in the name of Volodin’s mother actually belong to the speaker.

“There is no other person who loves retirees more than Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin,” Navalny said in the video, making a jab at Volodin’s support of retirement reform.

Navalny published the investigation only days after Volodin came under fire for suggesting that elderly people worried about living to an extended retirement age needed to hit the gym more during a meeting with constituents in his native Saratov. 

The Duma is scheduled to hold special parliamentary hearings on the retirement age hike next week Tuesday.

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