Washington Post columnist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has been critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was arrested in Moscow on Monday.
Kara-Murza was arrested outside of his house on the same day that he appeared on CNN in an interview.
In the interview, he said, “This regime that is in power in our country today, it’s not just corrupt … it’s not just authoritarian. It is a regime of murderers,” adding, “and it is important to say it out loud.”
“And it is really tragic, frankly, I have no other word for this, that it took a large-scale war in the middle of Europe, which Vladimir Putin is now conducting against Ukraine, for most western leaders to finally open their eyes to the true nature of this regime,” he added.
He also said in the interview, “Well, I’m speaking to you from Moscow now. Look, I’m a Russian politician. I have to be in Russia, it’s my home country. The biggest gift we could give — those of us who are in opposition to Putin’s regime — we could give to the Kremlin would be just to give up and run. I mean, that’s all they want from us.”
He also reportedly said he has “absolutely no doubt that the Putin regime will end over this war in Ukraine.”
According to The Washington Post, the Russian human rights project OVD-Info said Kara-Murza was arrested and was being held on a 15-day “administrative jail sentence.”
“He was reportedly accused of ‘behaving inappropriately in the sight of police officers, changing his direction of movement, quickening his pace and trying to hide when asked to stop.’ OVD-Info cited Kara-Murza’s defense team, who said he had merely been exiting a car near his house,” the Post reported.
Kara-Murza is a colleague of the deceased Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated in 2015. Kara-Murza was deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party, and is an author, documentary director, and was a candidate for the Russian parliament.
Vladimir Kara-Murza’s wife, Evgenia, posted on Twitter, “Twice have the Russian authorities tried to kill my husband for advocating for sanctions against thieves and murderers, and now they want to throw him in prison for calling their bloody war a WAR. I demand my husband’s immediate release!”
Twice have the Russian authorities tried to kill my husband for advocating for sanctions against thieves and murderers, and now they want to throw him in prison for calling their bloody war a WAR. I demand my husband’s immediate release!
— Evgenia Kara-Murza (@ekaramurza) April 12, 2022
The Post’s publisher, Fred Ryan, released a statement Tuesday, saying, “Following poisonings and other grave threats, this outrageous detention is the latest move in Vladimir Putin’s ongoing effort to silence Kara-Murza and hide the truth about the atrocities Putin is committing in the Russian people’s name…No one should be deceived by the Russian government’s trumped-up charges and smears, and Kara-Murza should be released immediately.”
Over the past few years, Kara-Murza has written many columns that have spoken out against Russia’s actions.