Yevgeny Roizman, the former opposition mayor of one of Russia’s largest cities, has been detained on criminal charges surrounding his public stance against the invasion of Ukraine, media outlets reported Wednesday.
Ex-Yekaterinburg mayor Roizman could face up to five years in prison on criminal charges of “public acts aimed at discrediting the Russian Armed Forces.”
Footage of his detention shared by the Kremlin-linked Telegram channel Mash showed masked agents shouting “police, open up!” while entering an apartment block.
The video cuts off when Roizman is shown opening his door and a plainclothes representative surrounded by the agents explaining what he is being charged with.
Authorities also raided several properties linked to Roizman, including a Christian Orthodox museum and several Yekaterinburg offices of the politician’s foundation, the state-run TASS news agency reported, citing local security services.
Roizman confirmed the charges against him, telling journalists posted outside his building that the criminal case has been initiated “in Moscow.”
TASS, citing Yekaterinburg’s unnamed law enforcement sources, reported that Roizman was detained “because of videos on his YouTube channel.”
The ex-mayor has previously been fined three times under Russia’s laws against “discrediting” the military that were passed in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.
More than 200 people, including prominent Kremlin critics Vladimir Kara-Murza and Ilya Yashin, face criminal prosecution for voicing opposition to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Roizman served as mayor of Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city, from 2013 to 2018, when authorities scrapped mayoral elections in a move that consolidated power within Moscow.
He was a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in 2003-07.