A critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have been illegally drafted into military service and brought to a remote base in the Arctic. The prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny wrote yesterday that his companion Ruslan Schaweddinow was being held on a secret air defense base in the remote Novaya Semelya archipelago as a „political prisoner“.
Project manager for foundation
The 23-year-old has been missing since Monday. According to Navalny, the police entered the Moscow apartment of Shaveddinov and immediately arrested him and took him away. Schaweddinow worked as a project manager for Nawalny’s anti-corruption foundation. This year, the foundation was classified by the Russian authorities as a „foreign agent“. They are being investigated for alleged money laundering.
Conscription applies in Russia. It affects men between the ages of 18 and 27, and the term of service is one year. An army spokesman told the TASS news agency that Shaveddinov had long resisted military service. His current convocation complies with the law.
Man disabled according to Navalny
Navalny, on the other hand, argued that Schaweddinow was unsuitable for military service for health reasons. He was also sent to the Nowaja Semlja archipelago without any basic training.
Vyacheslav Gimadi, an attorney for the Navalny Foundation, spoke of “kidnapping” Shaweddinov and accused Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of being directly responsible. Some of Shaveddinov’s supporters demonstrated in Moscow yesterday in front of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.