Gennady Gudkov, Russian opposition leader, expelled from parliament


A pro-Kremlin demonstrator attends a rally against Gennady Gudkov, deputy head of the Just Russia party, in front of Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in Moscow, on Sept. 14, 2012. The 'No horns' road sign is a reference to Gudkov's family name, which means (Horn).


Kirll Kudryavtsev

Russian opposition leader Gennady Gudkov was expelled from Russia's legislative body, the Duma, on a 293-150 vote, in what has been characterized as a warning to the country's anti-Putin movement.

"This is a lawless trial, this is political revenge, an extrajudicial reprisal," Gudkov said.

Members of parliament are not allowed to own or run a business, and the deputy was allegedly engaged in "unlawful entrepreneurship," the Moscow Times reported.

The vote does not only relieve Gudkov from his official position. It also leaves him susceptible to future prosecution.

"They're expelling me from the Duma because they're afraid of the truth, afraid of criticism and my stance," Gudkov said. "We have come very close to the brink that separates an authoritarian regime from a dictatorship."

Earlier this year, during Russia's presidential election, Gudkov supported and helped stage anti-Putin protests, according to the Associated Press.

Gudkov's expulsion comes a day before a scheduled anti-Putin rally.

Perhaps President Putin is trying to tell these would-be protestors something?