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“What a madhouse”: 50-year-old Russian opposition ex-deputy mobilized at government hearing

50-year-old former Russian Communist Party (CPRF) deputy Alexey Astafyev was recently mobilized in the Novosibirsk region – two unknown men in civilian clothes dragged the politician out of a government hearing. According to local media outlet Tayga.info, Astafyev is an opposition politician from the village of Kolyvan who is known for criticizing the local authorities.

According to the publication, the incident took place in early October at a session of deputies of the Kolyvan District Council (likely on October 7). The video was published by a regional Telegram channel.

The footage shows one of Astafyev's colleagues pointing to the fact that no United Russia deputies present at the meeting have been called up to the army after Vladimir Putin declared his “partial mobilization” – even though they have military experience. “Officers, colonels, lieutenant colonels. But they took a disabled man who has three children,” he says in indignation. To this, one of the United Russia politicians replies: «You need four minors [to avoid being mobilized].”

Tayga.info adds that Astafyev is an opposition candidate who heads the local CPRF district committee. He has criticized local district head Yevgeny Artyukhov – in 2021, before a local election, a group of unidentified people burned down Astafyev’s house. At the time, he expressed fears that the arson was related to the election, as well as his activity in the district council. Astafyev was stripped of his powers this August – allegedly for concealing his income.

Citing the regional branch of the CPRF, the publication states that Astafyev has been out of reach for four days, with no one able to contact him: “Obviously, they’re fed up with the 'inconvenient' Communist for so many years of conflict with the local authorities. Arson, him being stripped of his mandate, property seizure, mobilization at 50... What next?»

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