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Oct 6, 11:38 AM EDT

Russian opposition figure asks for asylum in UK

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MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian opposition politician has announced on Twitter that he is requesting political asylum in the United Kingdom after being subjected to house searches by the police earlier this year.

Vladimir Ashurkov wrote on Twitter Monday that he had requested asylum "due to political persecution" by authorities. Ashurkov didn't say whether he had yet received a response from British authorities.

Ashurkov is the right-hand man of top Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, who has been under house arrest since February. Ashurkov and several other people close to Navalny have come under increasing scrutiny in recent months and been the frequent subject of house searches.

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