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Russia Detains Activist for Railway ‘Sabotage’

Vladimir Gerdo / ТАСС

The Russian security services have detained a 19-year-old political activist on suspicion of involvement in the sabotage of railway lines, Oleg Filatchev, the head of a group called the Russian Citizen Alliance, told The Moscow Times on Wednesday. 

Nikita Klunya, who is also a member of Russian Citizen Alliance, was reportedly detained in the Russian town of Sortavala near the Finnish border. 

Filatchev said that he was informed of Klunya’s detention on terrorism charges in a 2 a.m. phone call from a representative of the Federal Security Service (FSB) who told him that Klunya was suspected of being involved in the destruction of railway infrastructure. 

The Russian authorities have not yet commented on the case. 

There has reportedly been an uptick in the number of railway accidents in Russia since the start of the invasion of Ukraine.

Some of these incidents have been claimed as deliberate attacks by anonymous groups opposed to the war — but there is little evidence to back up the claims. 

Filatchev said that Klunya was his “assistant” and “right-hand man” and dismissed the allegation that the activist could have been involved in sabotage. 

“It’s completely absurd,” Filatchev said. 

The Russian Citizen Alliance describes itself on its website as a “liberal-conservative” organization that “brings together young people who are not indifferent to the situation in our country.”

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