News of the Day: 6 June 2021

RFE/RL: Russian opposition politician and former lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov said he has fled the country amid concern he could be arrested on what he called trumped up charges. Gudkov was detained in Moscow on June 1 over an allegedly unpaid debt on a rented property dating from several years ago. He was released on June 3 without being formally charged. “I am approaching Kyiv,” he said on Facebook in a June 6 post he confirmed to AFP as genuine. “Several sources close to the presidential administration said that if I do not leave the country, the fake criminal case will continue until my arrest.”

RFE/RL: There’s the gun-rights activist who infiltrated U.S. Republican Party circles and served 15 months in U.S. detention for being an unregistered Russian agent. There’s the well-known nationalist writer who formed a volunteer battalion to fight on the side of Russian-backed militias in eastern Ukraine. There’s the former Hollywood martial arts action hero who now does cameos in cell phone commercials. […] What makes the September Duma election important is 2024. That’s when Putin’s current term expires. The Duma last year tweaked the constitution, amending it to make Putin eligible to remain in office for another 12 years. But he hasn’t shown his hand yet. If United Russia loses its absolute majority, or if another party gains substantially, in this year’s vote, it could be problematic for another Putin run.

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