Russia arrests ex-opposition leader on plane

A former director of Open Russia, an opposition group linked to exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has been removed from a plane in St Petersburg and arrested.

That's according to OVD-Info, which monitors police action against opposition figures.

It said Andrei Pivovarov was arrested at Pulkovo airport.

Tatyana Usmanova is te former co-ordinator of Open Russia.

"After the whole world discussed what Lukashenko did in Minsk, doing practically the same thing in St Petersburg and stopping Andrei's plane, that was already on the runway, is the height of insanity, and it shows a lack of respect for human rights."

Open Russia said last week that it had decided to end operations in Russia to protect its members from the risk of being jailed.

Russia declared the London-based group 'undesirable' in 2017, effectively banning its activities.

Its allies in Russia continued their activism under the same name, but as a separate legal entity to protect themselves from prosecution.