Russian opposition leader, Sergei Udaltsov has been formally charged with plotting mass disorder.
The anti-Putin activist remained defiant as he entered the headquarters of the Russian Federal Investigative Committee – which is modelled on the FBI in the USA – but if convicted he faces up to 10 years in prison.
He is accused of seeking funds from Georgia to stoke Unrest in Russia. The allegations were first brought by a pro-Kremlin documentary, but critics say it is just part of a government clampdown on anti-Putin protest.
It was earlier reported that one of his associates, Leonid Razvozzhayev, was snatched off the street in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev last Friday and brought back to Moscow.
He made a confession implicating Udatsov but later repealed it claiming it had been made under torture.
Speaking to reporters Sergei Udaltsov said: “This case is based on torture, it’s shameful, it hurts the Russian image. If somebody expected me to run across the border like a scared dog – they will not see this. I have not committed a crime.”
The shaven-headed opposition leader who leads the Left Front Coalition has been at the front of a series of sanctioned protests in the Russian capital, prompted by allegations of fraud in December’s parliamentary election which was won by Putin’s United Russia Party.