13:29 GMT +3 hours27 November 2014
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Russian Opposition Activists ‘Trained’ Abroad, Investigators Say

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The Russian opposition activists who were allegedly plotting to orchestrate anti-Kremlin unrest were "trained" abroad, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian opposition activists who were allegedly plotting to orchestrate anti-Kremlin unrest were "trained" abroad, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

Markin said the opposition activists were “specially trained outside Russia to organize and carry out mass riots aimed at overthrowing the regime as happened with 'color revolutions' in other countries.”

In October, Leonid Razvozzhayev, an ally of Russian Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, confessed to organizing mass disorder together with other opposition members, and said the effort was bankrolled by Georgian politician Givi Targamadze.

The charges against Razvozzhayev, an aide to opposition lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov, stem from grainy footage aired by the pro-Kremlin television channel NTV in early October.

The channel said the footage also showed Udaltsov, one of the leaders of the anti-Putin protest movement, Razvozzhayev, and another activist from the socialist group, Konstantin Lebedev, discussing the plot with an influential Georgian politician.

All three men have been charged and deny the accusations. Lebedev has been in custody since early last month, while Udaltsov has been ordered not to leave Moscow

Markin said investigators have other evidence, besides the video, proving that the suspects had repeatedly turned to foreign nationals, including Targamadze, to organize the riots.

The materials will be unveiled after more checks are carried out, he said.

Commenting on Markin's statement, Udaltsov said on Friday: "All these accusations of preparing mass riots - it is a 100 percent lie. Neither I nor Razvozzhayev nor Lebedev planned any actions. This is a political hatchet job. The goal is to weaken the opposition and discredit the leaders."