Search of Pavel Kostomarov's apartment shows pressure on journalists - Udaltsov

Russian opposition member Sergei Udaltsov has said that the ongoing search of the apartment of film director Pavel Kostomarov signals the authorities' intention to put pressure on journalists and civil activists ahead of the Freedom March on December 15.

"In my opinion, the authorities are crossing a line when they start to search journalists' apartments. It is an element of pressure, intimidation of people, including journalists. It is totally unacceptable," Udaltsov told Interfax on Friday.

Hopefully, "the journalistic community will express their outrage and respond to this act," he said.

"These people are simply doing their jobs. They work at mass events absolutely legally and openly, covering what it happening there but disclosing no secrets," he said.

"Like before other major opposition rallies, the Investigative Committee is just stepping up its activity," Udaltsov said.

"I think that other surprises could be expected before December 15," he said.

Udaltsov said that he is personally acquainted with Kostomarov.

Russian NTV television station reporter Alexei Pivovarov said earlier that a search was being carried out at the apartment of Kostomarov, a co-author of the Srok (Term) Internet project about the Russian opposition.

Kostomarov himself has so far been unavailable for comment.

Kostomarov, 37, has filmed several award-winning documentaries together with Swiss movie director Antoine Cattin.

Srok, a joint project by Kostomarov, Alexander Rastorguyev and Pivovarov, is dedicated to the leaders of Russia's modern-day opposition - Sergei Udaltsov, Alexei Navalny, Ksenia Sobchak, Ilya Yashin, Boris Nemtsov and Eduard Limonov.

Parts of the film have appeared on YouTube and LiveJournal since May 2012.

The Million March held on the Moscow Bolotnaya Square on May 6 led to clashes between protesters and police. The opposition accused the police of impeding the march and the rally, and the police accused the opposition of deliberate provocations. Over 400 people were detained.

Opposition leaders Navalny, Nemtsov, Udaltsov, as well as TV presenter Sobchak were questioned as witnesses. Their apartments were searched.

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