Another "delayed" arrest: ACF director Roman Rubanov may spend the March 18 elections in the detention centre

Roman Rubanov was arrested this night in connection with the January 28 protests.

According to the Russian laws, the duration of administrative arrest cannot exceed 30 days. Because of this, it has become a common tactic for the Russian police to “delay” the arrests of the key members of Anti-Corruption Foundation, so that they only come out after a certain important date. For instance, Leonid Volkov, the head of Alexey Navalny’s campaign HQ, was charged in connection with the September 29 protest in Nizhny Novgorod a whole month later, on December 1. This way, Volkov was only released after the registration period for the presidential candidates, which made the process much harder for Alexey.

In a similar fashion, ACF director Roman Rubanov was arrested this night upon his arrival to Moscow in the Sheremetyevo airport. He is being charged with organizing the January 28 mass protests (even though he was not involved in the organizational process in any way) and will face the trial later today. If Rubanov is given 30 days of arrest (which he almost certainly will be), he will be released after the March 18 presidential elections, which Alexey Navalny urges everyone to boycott. By keeping one of the key members of the Anti-Corruption Foundation under arrest during the elections, the government certainly hopes to make it much harder for Alexey Navalny and his supporters to organize further “voters strike” protests and monitor the turnout.