Sun, 20 Oct 2019

VYDRINO, Russia -- A Yakut shaman who has been walking for months to Moscow 'to drive [Russian President Vladimir] Putin out of the Kremlin' has been detained in the Siberian region of Buryatia.

Buryatia's Interior Ministry said on September 19 that Aleksandr Gabyshev was detained overnight at a highway near Lake Baikal.

'Gabyshev is wanted in Yakutia on suspicion of committing a crime,' the ministry said without specifying what crime the shaman is suspected of having committed. It added that he will be transferred to his native Yakutia soon.

Gabyshev's supporters told RFE/RL earlier in the day that several vehicles arrived at a camp set up by Gabyshev and his supporters near the town of Vydrino in Buryatia overnight and took away the shaman and his cart.

'The highway was blocked by special service units, they quickly surrounded our camp and directly went to the shaman's tent. There were probably several dozen people,' one of the supporters said.

According to the shaman's supporters, it wasn't possible to determine who the men in uniform represented, as they did not identify themselves and gave no explanation for Gabyshev's detainment.

Gabyshev started his walk to Moscow four months ago. He announced that he planned to reach Moscow by foot in two years. He said he considers Putin 'a creation of dark forces' and only a shaman can stand against him.

He has covered 2,000 kilometers on foot and during his walk has talked with hundreds of truck drivers and others as he gained notoriety. Videos of the talks have shown up on social media with millions of views.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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