Posts Tagged ‘the mirror’

October 2012

Kidnapping, suspicious deaths and ‘torture’ as critics say Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on opponents is a return to the days of Stalin

The Mirror

IT was a ruthless operation harking back to the era of Soviet oppression as Russia’s secret services snatched a political foe from a foreign capital.

Masked men seized an opponent of hardline president Vladimir Putin in an audacious daylight abduction after the victim had sought sanctuary abroad.

Bound and gagged, Leonid Razvozzhayev was smuggled back to Moscow and says he was tortured.

The clinical operation in Ukrainian capital Kiev nine days ago has added to fears Russia is returning to the dark days of brutal commissar Joseph Stalin and his Gulag forced labour camps of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Razvozzhayev, 39, told activists who visited him in detention last week he had been left handcuffed in a dank cellar and not given food or drink or taken to the toilet for two days.

He also says he was threatened with an injection of a “truth serum”, a ­permanently disabling drug, to make him sign a confession of involvement in a plot to topple the Russian ruler.

“I was in a mask and a hat pulled over my face without slits,” he claimed. “They told me, ‘If you don’t answer our ­questions, your children will be killed.’”

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