25 Dec 2019 14:51

Kremlin has seen media reports on Anti-Corruption Foundation activist called for military service, refrains from comment - Peskov

MOSCOW. Dec 25 (Interfax) - The way in which Anti-Corruption Foundation employee Ruslan Shaveddinov was called up to the Russian Armed Forces does not reflect poorly on the latter, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said at a press conference on Wednesday.

While Peskov was talking to journalists, some of them described Shaveddinov's recent call-up to the Armed Forces as "a special operation" and asked him whether the Kremlin is concerned that this could affect the image of draft-based military service in Russia.

"We have seen media reports on this account, but it's hard for me to comment on this, as I don't know whether he dodged the draft, and if he did, for how long he did it. If he did dodge the draft, then he has violated Russian law, and so I don't think this reflects poorly on anything. If this person didn't dodge military service, then what's happened is very bad. If he dodged and was called up in this way, then everything was done strictly in line with the law," he said.

Anti-Corruption Foundation founder Alexei Navalny said on Tuesday that Shaveddinov, who had been detained by law enforcement agencies the day before, was posted to serve in the Armed Forces in the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

Navalny said on Twitter that Shaveddinov's sim card was blocked and that law enforcement officials had broken into his apartment and "took [him] to Novaya Zemlya in just one day."

"Ruslan is in the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago now," he said.

Anti-Corruption Foundation press secretary Kira Yarmysh said in a tweet that lawyers could not reach Shaveddinov, as Novaya Zemlya is a special-access territory.

Shaveddinov's apartment was searched on the evening of December 23, after which he was unavailable for contact. Anti-Corruption Foundation lawyers filed a missing person report with the Investigative Committee.

The same day, on December 23, the Moscow City Court declined Shaveddinov's appeal against a draft commission's decision to find him fit for military service.