Putin critic fights to remain in Canada, fears for life if sent back to Russia


OTTAWA — A vocal opponent of the Putin government says Canada is about to deliver her into the arms of Russia’s secret police.

Russian scientist Elena Musikhina and her supporters are pleading with the Trudeau government to let her stay in Canada on compassionate grounds.

Musikhina says her family fell into disfavour with Russian authorities for condemning Moscow’s military incursions in Ukraine and for saying Russia illegally annexed Crimea.

In addition, Musikhina says her research work uncovered information about serious environmental hazards and pollution from military activity around the large freshwater Lake Baikal in Siberia. She fled to Canada in 2015 and sought refugee protection but was refused.

Her supporters say a half-dozen other researchers and officials who were aware of the data died in mysterious and violent circumstances.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is calling on Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen to halt the deportation of Musikhina and her husband.

The Canadian Press