Russian authorities are investigating the only opposition mayor of a major city for allegedly soliciting bribes. The Investigative Committee in Yaroslavl,a city of about 590,000 some 250 kilometers east of Moscow,said today that it arrested mayor Evgeny Urlashov and three of his deputies for allegedly demanding a bribe of 14 million rubles (about USD 420,000) from an unidentified contractor.
Footage of police in masks,camouflage and bulletproof vests raiding Urlashov’s apartment led Russian state TV news. Police said they found USD 500,000 in cash belonging to Urlashov next door,the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Urlashov easily won election last year as anger over corruption and mismanagement by the Kremlin-controlled United Russia party surged. He denied the charges to Russian journalists before being driven to the police station.