Andrei Pivovarov, chief of Open Russia opposition group, attends a forum of independent members of municipal councils in Moscow, Russia March 13, 2021. Picture taken March 13, 2021. Kommersant Photo/Alexander Miridonov via REUTERS RUSSIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN RUSSIA.
June 1, 2021
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A former director of Open Russia, an opposition group linked to exiled former oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has been removed from a plane in St. Petersburg and arrested, a monitoring group reported on Tuesday.
OVD-Info, a group which monitors police action against opposition figures, said Andrei Pivovarov was arrested at Pulkovo airport and was being transferred to the Investigative Committee.
Open Russia said on Thursday it had decided to end its operations in Russia to protect its members from the risk of being jailed.
Russia declared the London-based group "undesirable" in 2017, effectively banning its activities. Its allies in Russia continued their activism under the same name, but as a separate legal entity to try to protect themselves from prosecution.