KIEV, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 22th August, 2016) : A Russian man who was repeatedly arrested for donning masks of President Vladimir Putin in anti-Kremlin pickets has crossed into Ukraine and is seeking political asylum. Roman Roslovtsev has spent weeks in detention for putting on an unflattering rubber caricature of the Russian leader's face during protests against what critics call Putin's suppression of free speech and basic human rights.
The Ukrainian border guard service said the 36-year-old entered Ukraine on Sunday and will formally seek political asylum on Monday. Roslovtsev has reportedly been arrested on 11 occasions and has claimed that he was being hounded by Russia's FSB security service that Putin headed between 1998 and 1999. He told Kiev's Hromadske.ua news site on Sunday that he would like to join the Ukrainian army and fight pro-Kremlin rebels in the separatist east that Putin has denied backing during a 28-month conflict which has claimed more than 9,500 lives.
"I would like to join the army, the National Guard or any of the volunteer battalions," Roslovtsev was quoted as saying. "For me, the most important thing is to continue my battle against the Putin regime." Ukrainian authorities said the migration service in Kiev was currently considering Roslovtsev's case. Roslovtsev is a former accountant who studied religion prior to joining the protest movement. He had previously told AFP that he intended to get a prison sentence for his "Putin mask" performances in order to make a statement against laws targeting peaceful protesters.