MOSCOW, October 6 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) – Vladimir Ashurkov, one of closest allies of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is on Russia’s wanted list, has asked for asylum in the UK. Ashurkov posted this information on his Twitter account on Monday.

Alexei Navalny is a Russian opposition leader, the leader of the Party of Progress who came in a distant second place in the Moscow mayoral elections last year with 27%. He has been involved in several criminal cases and became popular as the author of an anti-corruption blog.

According to investigators, municipal lawmaker Konstantin Yankauskas and businessmen Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov, who each transferred 1 million rubles (nearly $30,000) to Navalny’s election account, posted an online address “for web users to voluntarily refill their digital wallets, presumably to compensate for the funds that had been transferred to Navalny’s account, and to support his political activity.”

As a result, over 10 million rubles (over $297,000) was transferred to these digital wallets. In late May, searches were conducted at the premises of Yankauskas, Lyaskin and Ashurkov and the Yandex.Money office.

This is not the first time that Navalny’s supporters have been suspected of embezzling funds. Last year, the Interior Ministry announced that Yankauskas had received 5 million rubles ($148,674) via transfers to the Yandex.Money wallet, of which he embezzled 4 million rubles (nearly $119,000). The ministry said that Ashurkov embezzled 2.27 million rubles ($67,498) and Lyaskin 790,000 rubles ($23,491).

Navalny is involved in several criminal cases and has been placed on house arrest. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and said he has been persecuted for political reasons.