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Russian opposition figure requests political asylum in UK after house searches

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MOSCOW — 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.

PHOTO: In this photo taken on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, Vladimir Ashurkov, left, a top aide of top Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, right, who has been under house arrest since February 2014, attends a news conference at his headquarters in Moscow, Russia. Vladimir Ashurkov wrote on Twitter Monday that he had requested asylum in the United Kigdom "due to political persecution" by authorities. Ashurkov didn't say whether he had yet received a response from British authorities. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In this photo taken on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, Vladimir Ashurkov, left, a top aide of top Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, right, who has been under house arrest since February 2014, attends a news conference at his headquarters in Moscow, Russia. Vladimir Ashurkov wrote on Twitter Monday that he had requested asylum in the United Kigdom "due to political persecution" by authorities. Ashurkov didn't say whether he had yet received a response from British authorities. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

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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