Europe

Russia's Kasyanov says life threatened in cake incident

Mikhail Kasyanov, Russian opposition leader - 11 Dec 15 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Kremlin has dismissed the alleged threats against Mr Kasyanov as "hooliganism"

Russian opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov claims his life was threatened when a group of men burst into a Moscow restaurant where he was eating.

"About 10 unidentified men of a non-Slavish appearance threw a cake at me and shouted threats at me," he said.

The Kremlin has dismissed the incident as "hooliganism".

But last week Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov posted a video of Mr Kasyanov in gunsights in what Kremlin critics took as a murder threat.

Mr Kadyrov is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has referred to his critics as "enemies" and "traitors".

Image copyright Instagram - screenshot
Image caption Mr Kasyanov lodged a police complaint last week, after he appeared in a Kadyrov video in gunsights

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Members of Mr Kasyanov's liberal opposition Parnas party said the men who burst into the restaurant on Tuesday night spoke Chechen or looked like they came from the region.

In comments to Russia's RBC business daily, Mr Kasyanov - a former prime minister dismissed by Mr Putin in 2004 - said the men shouted "you're the enemy" and "we'll deal with you".

They then went outside where they joined more men for some time, before driving away in their cars.

Mr Kasyanov filed a police complaint saying his life and safety had been threatened.

'No Kadyrov link'

"I link this attack to my political activity," RBC quoted Mr Kasyanov as saying.

"I believe that [Tuesday's] attack is directly linked to Mr Kadyrov's threats posted against me and because I filed a complaint against him with the Investigative Committee and the FSB" security service, he said.

Moscow officials were quoted as saying a complaint had been received and was being investigated.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitriy Peskov condemned what he called a case of "hooliganism", but denied any link with Mr Kadyrov.

"No-one here should be identified with the leadership of Chechnya or the leadership of other regions," he was quoted as saying by Russian news agency Interfax.

My Kasyanov has been an outspoken critic of the Kremlin - last month urging the Council of Europe to examine last year's murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

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