MINSK, 12 August (BelTA) - The Belarusian Investigative Committee confirmed the detention of Russian citizens Artem Vazhenkov and Igor Rogov in Minsk on 11 August, BelTA has learned.
“These citizens were detained in Minsk at 2.00 on 11 August near the Riga supermarket. They showed signs of alcohol intoxication. At the moment they are suspects in a criminal case initiated by the Minsk Office of the Investigative Committee under Article 293 p.2 of the Criminal Code (participation in mass riots),” the Investigative Committee said.
In the video footage available on the website of BelTA, Vazhenkov and Rogov say that they arrived in Minsk on 8 August “for tourism purposes”.
However, the day before, the Russian media reported that Artem Vazhenkov and Igor Rogov are the coordinators of the Open Russia organization. They allegedly came to Belarus to observe the election without accreditation.
Open Russia was founded by exiled Russian oligarch, ex-owner of the Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The organization is listed as undesirable in Russia. Last year the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation refused to register the organization as a legal entity. Criminal proceedings have been repeatedly initiated against the activists of Open Russia under Article 284.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (carrying out activities of an organization recognized as undesirable on the territory of Russia).