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Police Arrest Arkhangelsk Mayor

Published: July 19, 2007 (Issue # 1290)


MOSCOW Law enforcement officers stormed the apartment of Arkhangelsk Mayor Alexander Donskoi on Wednesday and took him to a detention facility, sharply escalating an ongoing battle between him and the regions governor.

The officers forced their way into Donskois apartment Wednesday afternoon and carried him out to a waiting police car, despite protests by doctors present that his blood pressure was dangerously high, Donskois aide, Eduard Gainutdinov, said by telephone.

Gainutdinov said he was speaking from the apartment. A woman could be heard wailing in the background.

Regional prosecutors said in a statement that Donskoi, 37, was detained on suspicion of illegally dipping into city coffers to pay for bodyguards for himself and his family. Prosecutors are now deciding whether to charge him formally with abuse of office, the statement said.

If charged and convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison.

Donskoi was formally charged in February with faking his university diploma and participating in illegal business activities while in office, but he had been free on condition that he not leave the city. He has said repeatedly that he is innocent.

Donskois legal problems began shortly after his November announcement that he planned to run for president next year. He has said the Kremlin tried to pressure him into staying out of the race.

But he has also been embroiled in a dispute with Arkhangelsk Governor Nikolai Kiselyov.

On July 11, Donskoi posted a video on the City Hall-connected Archicity.ru showing a man resembling Kiselyov puportedly accepting a bribe. Kiselyov said in a statement posted on the regional administrations web site the following day that the video was a fake and part of a dirty campaign connected with the upcoming election season.

I have already gone to the authorities [in connection with the video], Kiselyov said in the statement.

Donskois 16-year-old son, Alexander, said Wednesdays detention was Kiselyovs revenge for the video.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, July 31


Develop your leadership abilities during a lecture by famous Russian author and coach Radislav Gandapas. The event starts at 9 a.m. at 5 Lodeinopolskaya Ulitsa. The price for entry is 20,500 rubles ($570).


Relax and enjoy a Parisian atmosphere with some romantic and laidback jazz tunes during the Night of French Music at Lenny Jam Cafe, 63 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 250 rubles ($7).


The Womens Business Club is hosting a Beauty Brunch where participants are invited to discuss the latest news in the beauty industry and listen to lectures by professional stylists in the business.



Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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