Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

World Kickboxing Championship Extradited From Russia Jailed in Belarus – Reports

Alexei Kudin denies taking part in Belarus' protests and claimed self-defense in retaliation to police beatings. kudin_alexey_mma / instagram

World kickboxing champion and MMA fighter Alexei Kudin has been imprisoned on charges of assaulting a security officer during protests against last year's disputed election in Belarus, media reported Wednesday.

Belarus' close ally Russia extradited Kudin last month in violation of a European Court of Human Rights ruling and despite warnings that he could face torture or even death in his home country.

Kudin was reported to have knocked out a security officer the day after the disputed Aug. 9, 2020, election in which longtime President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory for a sixth consecutive term, sparking mass pro-democracy rallies. 

Kudin, 36, denied taking part in the protests and claimed self-defense in retaliation to police beatings.

He fled to Russia after being beaten and shot with rubber bullets while in detention and then being placed under house arrest, according to reports.

A Belarus court found Kudin guilty of resisting law enforcement orders and sentenced him to 2.5 years in prison Wednesday, according to Belarus’ Euroradio news outlet.

Prosecutors reportedly requested a 3.5-year sentence for the fighter.

Kudin, nicknamed the Brick, is a 2012 Russian MMA Championship winner, 2007 World Bare Knuckle Fighting World Super Heavyweight champion and winner of several amateur championships.

Thousands of Belarusians have been detained, forced into exile or living in fear following the nationwide protests, Amnesty International said Monday.

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.