Udaltsov plans pickets in support of detained activist Lebedev

Opposition member Sergei Udaltsov, who is suspected of plotting mass riots, has announced plans to hold a series of pickets outside the headquarters of the Russian Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee in Moscow on Thursday in support of detained activist Konstantin Lebedev.

"We will fight for Lebedev's freedom," Udaltsov told Interfax. He thanked all those who came to his residential building as a search was conducted in his apartment and then gathered near the Investigative Committee, where he was convoyed for questioning.

"All of these people contributed to my release," he said.

The Investigative Committee reported on Wednesday that Udaltsov, his aid Lebedev and parliamentarian Ilya Ponomaryov's assistant Leonid Razvozzhayev were accused of planning to organize mass riots following the claims made in the NTV television station's "Anatomy of Protest-2" film.

Their apartments were searched, after which Udaltsov and Lebedev were interrogated by the Investigative Committee as suspects. Lebedev was detained for 48 hours and Udaltsov was released after being ordered not to leave Moscow.

The Russian Investigative Committee said earlier that Udaltsov would be released on his own responsibility after he was questioned as a suspect.

Udaltsov left the Investigative Committee building three hours after that statement was made.

"Udaltsov was questioned as a suspect and was freed after travel restrictions were imposed on him and he signed a statement saying he would abide by the rules of conduct established," Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax.

Searches have been conducted at the homes of suspected mass disturbance organizers Udaltsov, Leonid Razvozzhayev and Konstantin Lebedev, he said.

"CDs and documents were seized during six searches at the homes of Udaltsov, Razvozzhayev, Lebedev and Aimaletdinov, which will be examined by investigators and then experts will study them. Cartridges for a sporting rifle were seized at Lebedev's home; the cartridges were stored in an easily accessible place in violation of established requirements," Markin said. "Razvozzhayev's whereabouts have not been established yet. Whether or not charges will be brought against the suspects will be decided within the legally mandated timeframe."

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