TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Russia on Friday put the founder of an anti-war group that helps Russian conscripts break their military contracts and return to Russia on its federal most-wanted list.
Alexandra Garmazhapova, founder of the Free Buryatia Foundation, lives in the Czech capital, Prague, and would face arrest if she returned to Russia.
In a statement, Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs did not cite any specific charge for putting Garmazhova on the list. But the activist said the case may have been filed against her under Russia’s law banning the spread of “fake” information about the Russian army.
The Free Buryatia Foundation has reported on the draft in the Buryatia region in eastern Siberia and helps conscripts from the region terminate military contracts and return from the war in Ukraine.
The foundation’s website was blocked in Russia in summer 2022, shortly after it reported that 150 Buryat servicemen had returned from Ukraine, having refused to fight and canceled their contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry.
Garmazhapova wasadded to Russia’s list of “foreign agents” in the fall, a hostile label for people and organizations the government deems to be engaging in political activity with foreign support or under foreign influence.
Activists from predominantly Buddhist Buryatia and other Russian regions have alleged that the country’s ethnic minorities have been disproportionately singled out by Moscow’s mobilization efforts.
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