Thursday, November 23, 2017

Ryzhkov decries "smear campaign" video

Vladimir Ryzhkov, a Russian liberal politician, said that a recent video of him using harsh rhetoric about the country's protest movement is a smear campaign.

Ryzhkov said that the footage was an "attempt to cause a row," RIA Novosti reports. The clip appears to show Ryzhkov, a long-time Kremlin opponent, discussing the next demonstration planned for Feb. 4 with Gennady Gudkov, a deputy with the "A Just Russia" party

Ryzhkov has been one of the leading figures in street protests against Russia's disputed parliamentary elections.

The video also showed the two politicians discussing plans to distance themselves from Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and leading figure in Russia's opposition movement, according to RIA Novosti.

Navalny was a key speaker at the last major rally on Dec. 24 and has been the target of attacks by pro-Kremlin youth groups.

Alleged vote fraud at last month's parliamentary elections spurred the biggest anti-government protests seen in Moscow in decades.