Udaltsov in Fistfight at Dolmatov Memorial
- The Moscow Times
- Feb. 07 2013 00:00
- Last edited 17:53
A fistfight between Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and several Other Russia activists broke out Wednesday at a memorial service for Other Russia member Alexander Dolmatov, who killed himself last month in a Dutch extradition cell after being refused asylum.
Udaltsov was giving a television interview outside the Sakharov Archives and Human Rights Center in downtown Moscow when three men approached him and one struck him in the face, shouting "stop the PR," Gazeta.ru reported.
A video posted on YouTube shows the ensuing fight between Udaltsov and the attackers, with the surrounding crowd trying to intervene. The tussle went on for about two minutes, after which police detained two of the men involved.
Other Russia members have accused Udaltsov of using the protest movement for his own PR campaign and, as a result, deliberately weakening the movement.
Dolmatov committed suicide in the Netherlands on Jan. 17, months after fleeing Russia to avoid arrest for involvement in the Bolotnaya Ploshchad rally on May 6, which ended in violent clashes between protesters and the police.
Other Russia members also claim that Udaltsov has betrayed fellow Left Front activists Leonid Razvozzhayev and Konstantin Lebedev, both of whom are in police custody for allegedly plotting to incite riots together with Udaltsov, who remains free.
Udaltsov said on Twitter following Wednesday's fight that "it is a pity that [Other Russia leader Eduard] Limonov's followers sank to provocations today, which could only be favored by the Kremlin. They cannot be considered allies after this."
He added that he did not intend to file a complaint with the police and that "the issue will be resolved separately in a different manner."