Anti-Putin protester, Sergei Udaltsov has been given a conditional release after being detained in Moscow on a charge of plotting mass disorder.
Earlier police had raided the opposition blogger’s apartment along with the homes of two associates facing the same charge which carries a jail sentence of up to 10 years.
On being freed Udaltsov said he had committed no crime. “The charges are the imagination of a sick mind,” he said. “I want to stress once more that I have had no contact with any western special services, with Georgian intelligence, I haven’t received any instructions nor money from them nor could I , since although we are the opposition, we use peaceful methods and we do not support violence and bloodshed.”
Government critics and civic rights groups say the Kremlin is carrying out a coordinated clampdown on activists opposed to Vladimir Putin’s 13-year-long rule and angered by allegations of widespread election fraud.
Udaltsov is one of several organisers of a series of Moscow rallies attended by thousands calling for a “Russia without Putin”.