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Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Shlosberg, Critic of War in Ukraine, Faces Loss of Parliamentary Mandate
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Lev Shlosberg, a Pskov Region legislator is in danger of being stripped of his parliamentary mandate for his defense of an NGO dubbed a "foreign agent," reports.

Shlosberg is noted for his criticism of Russia's war in Ukraine and corruption and mismanagement in his home region, led by Acting Governor Andrei Turchak whose security operatives in a family-owned firm have recently been implicated in the beating of journalist Oleg Kashin.

Shlosberg, a member of the opposition Yabloko party, was the first to sound the alarm about the Pskov 76th Guards Air Assault Division missing from their barracks as they were deployed in the invasion of Crimea in February 2014. Later, he reported on the deaths of the 76th's soldiers in the August 2014 invasion of the Donbass, after which he was beaten severely by unnamed assailants.

His latest effort to help a local NGO he founded to fight a court case against their "foreign agent" status has now pushed the Pskov regional authorities to threaten him with reprisals for his "unlawful court representation." The regional prosecutor sent a letter September 15 to the Pskov Regional Assembly saying that Shlosberg's defense of the NGO was grounds for removal of his mandate as such defense is allegedly a violation of the law.

Shlosberg has replied that he appeared in court as a founder of the group, not as a deputy (translation by The Interpreter):

"The political contractor of the stripping of me of my mandate [as deputy] is Andrei Turchak, governor of Pskov Region, and his group. These people have really gotten fed up with me -- with my work at the assembly, deputy's inquiries, the battle against corruption, oversight of the spending of budget funds, interference in situations which they wish would never be brought up in public."

Tomorrow, September 24, the Pskov parliament will review in a secret ballot "not the legal, but the political issue" of the removal of his mandate.

Shlosberg vowed to continue his political activity even if he is removed from the parliament and expressed his vision that someday Russia will be free.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick