Economist Sergei Guriev flees Russia: Sergei Guriev, an English-speaking economist well known to western investors, had been questioned as a witness in an investigation into the defunct Yukos oil company, whose founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky was jailed in 2005 for fraud. His real transgression, supporters and commentators say, was to support Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner who led protests against Putin's return to the presidency which the Kremlin has been trying gradually to snuff out.
"He (Guriev) defended Khodorkovsky and said that the case was fabricated. An enemy? Of course," Boris Nemtsov, a protest and opposition leader, said ironically. "He fights corruption? That betrays our fundamental ideals!" Since Putin's return to the Kremlin after four years as prime minister, the authorities have moved across a broad front to silence critics, with Navalny now on trial on fraud charges which he says are trumped up and politically motivated.