Russian Communist Party MP and latest Putin oppositional hopeful was accosted by forest rangers after he allegedly found the carcasse of an elk inside his car.
Valery Rashkin, aged 66, was found in the woods just outside Saratov. This was in what the Communists thought was a Kremlin-set-up.
Russian media reported that Rangers arrived in the area to investigate reports of a shooting on Thursday evening. They found Mr Rashkin’s car with a dead Elk inside, according to Russian hunting authorities.
Valery Rashkin, aged 66, stated that he was going out to report the carcass, and was on a stroll while visiting the countryside.
They also reported that an axe and two knives with traces of blood were found in the car, The Telegraph reported.
Mash, a news site, has a clip of Mr Rashkin being interviewed about the incident. He is then asked to get out the car and confirm his identity.
He seems dazed and speaks very little. He initially hesitates when asked if he has ever had any alcohol, but then he replies ‘no’.
Mr Rashkin denied that he was drunk and said that he refused to submit to a breathalyser test, possibly because it was rigged.
The interrogators of Mr Rashkin, who appear to have been rangers, then asked him why he was carrying the elk carcass in his back car. This is illegal, and the MP replied that he was going report it.
Later, he said that he was visiting his friends in rural England and saw a car leaving while taking a walk through woods.
Later, Mr Rashkin told RTVi that he had found an elk in this area. An almost cut elk.
Russian Comminist Party Leader Gennady Zauganov (centre), and Valery Rashkin(right). Tass, the state-media agency, reported the story without naming Mr Rashkin. They claimed that he was drunk and refused to undergo a breathalyser.
“I went back with the guys, stirred one friend (they had good tea there), and invited them all to take an elk to the police.
He said that he was motivated by the desire to visit places he was familiar with and felt good in the midst the pandemic.
Tass, a state-media agency, reported the story without naming Mr Rashkin. He claimed that he was drunk and refused a breathalyser test.
The politician denied the allegation, saying he didn’t take it because he was concerned about the results.
The Communist Party claimed that Friday’s story, first reported on Telegram by pro-Kremlin channels and Telegram, was intended to smear Mr Rashkin as he is an anti-Putin opposition leader.
He told RTVi: ‘I wasn’t drunk, but I didn’t get a medical examination.
“This is the Saratov Region. It is easy to falsify the results here, so I didn’t get involved.
He stated that he would take it to court.
According to the Communist Party, this incident could be a Kremlin plot to frame Mr Rashkin since he is seen as a serious candidate to become an opposition leader to Putin.
The 66 year-old MP is a popular choice among young progressives. He is also openly a supporter for Alexei Navalny, who is currently in prison.
The Communist Party claimed that Friday’s story, which was first reported by Telegram pro-Krelin channels, was a smear campaign against Mr Rashkin.