Support The Moscow Times!

Fugitive Russian Mayor Turns Up in Ukraine Combat Zone – Kommersant

Mayor of Bolshoi Kamen Rustam Abushaev. Bolshoi Kamen city website

A Russian mayor wanted on fraud charges has surfaced fighting in the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday.

The Russian authorities accuse Rustyam Abushayev, who headed two municipalities in Far Eastern Russia’s Primorye region, of making fraudulent land deals and conducting business illegally.

On Monday, Abushayev posted a video of himself in combat uniform with a sniper rifle in an unknown location in front of a destroyed private house. 

“I decided to come here long ago, but felt the urgent need while congratulating the families of dead soldiers ahead of March 8 [International Women’s Day],” he said.

“I understood that I had to come without delay and defend our motherland’s interests,” Abushayev said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin officially calls a “special military operation,” is entering its 14th month.

According to Kommersant, Russian investigators put Abushayev on the federal wanted list in March.

The Investigative Committee’s regional branch told Kommersant that Abushayev is still on Russia’s wanted list in connection with the fraud and illegal entrepreneurship cases.

Abushayev made no mention of the criminal case against him in the video.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more