Investigators: Russian opposition had foreign help

MOSCOW — Russia’s top investigative agency said Friday it has proof of opposition supporters attending training abroad as part of foreign-backed plans to overthrow the government.

Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Investigative Committee, said it had evidence confirming earlier charges that leftist activists Sergey Udaltsov, Leonid Razvozzhayev, and Konstantin Lebedev met with foreign officials to plot mass riots, inspired by the ‘‘color revolutions’’ that ousted authoritarian leaders in several former Soviet nations and rattled the Kremlin.

He said their supporters also attended training abroad to prepare for ‘‘organizing and conducting mass riots with the purpose of overthrowing the government.’’


President Vladimir Putin has often accused the unprecedented protest movement that sprung up against his rule last winter of being funded and directed from abroad.

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Charges were filed against the activists in October after pro-Kremlin TV showed a film alleging they met officials from Georgia in Minsk to plot violent disturbances in Russia.

Udaltsov said Friday that the new allegations were an attempt to discredit the opposition before a big protest in December. ‘‘This is the latest pile of garbage they’re trying to smear on us,’’ he added.

Razvozzhayev’s case became a cause celebre for the opposition after he claimed he was kidnapped last month in Ukraine where he was seeking asylum, tortured for two days, and forced to sign a false confession, which he retracted.