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Russian opposition figure leaves country for Ukraine

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By AP
In this Tuesday, July 30, 2019 file photo, Russian opposition candidate Dmitry Gudkov speaks to journalists sitting inside a police car as he arrives to the court in Moscow.
In this Tuesday, July 30, 2019 file photo, Russian opposition candidate Dmitry Gudkov speaks to journalists sitting inside a police car as he arrives to the court in Moscow.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File
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A well-known Russian opposition politician who was held in police custody for two days last week in a criminal investigation said Sunday that he has left the country for Ukraine.

Dmitry Gudkov said in a Facebook post that sources in Kremlin circles had told him “that if I do not leave the country, the fake criminal case will continue until my arrest.”

Gudkov said he believes the investigation was aimed at preventing him from running for the national parliament this year. He was a parliament member in 2011-16.

Gudkov was detained at his country house last week in connection with an investigation into money allegedly owed to the city for rental of office space. He was released without charges Thursday.

His detention came as authorities continue to crack down on dissent ahead of September’s parliamentary elections.

Last week, a court sent prominent opposition figure Andrei Pivovarov to jail for two months pending a probe into his actions as head of the Open Russia group, which authorities have declared an undesirable organisation. Pivovarov had announced the group was disbanding several days before his arrest.