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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Just Russia's Youth Leader Slams Party

The leader of A Just Russia's youth wing has accused the pro-Kremlin party of "stupid cowardice" and "idolizing" President Vladimir Putin after being excluded from the party's federal list.

The leader, Sergei Shargunov, was dropped from the ballot for State Duma elections because he had failed to "cope with his responsibilities," said the head of A Just Russia's Duma faction, Alexander Babakov, in comments carried in Vedomosti on Friday.

Shargunov, a popular fiction writer who had been No. 3 on the party's list, criticized the decision in a telephone interview. He said the Kremlin was displeased that "I allowed myself to harshly criticize Putin in 2004" and had ordered him taken off the list. The Kremlin had no immediate comment about the claim.

Shargunov also accused A Just Russia leadership of idolizing Putin. "They think all his orders have to be fulfilled," he said. He vowed to leave the party.