Kremlin critic designated a ‘foreign agent’ flees Russia

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Russian satirical writer and Kremlin critic Viktor Shenderovich said on Tuesday he had left Russia fearing that a criminal case for slander would be opened against him after his designation by the authorities as a “foreign agent”.

Shenderovich, 63, did not say where he had gone and did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

“(My) departure is exactly what the Kremlin has been hinting I do over the last 20 years of endless and demonstrative criminality directed at me,” Shenderovich wrote on Facebook.

There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin.

Shenderovich was in December labelled a “foreign agent” by the Justice Ministry in a crackdown on opposition figures that stepped up last year. The term has negative Soviet-era connotations and its bearers face arduous labelling and bureaucratic requirements.

He has been at odds with the authorities for years.

His old “Puppets” political satire programme on national television lampooned politicians including President Vladimir Putin who had just come to power at the turn of the century. The show was taken off air in 2002.

via Reuters

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