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Russian opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov, after a 2019 hearing at Moscow's Koptevsky District Court in Russia. Photo: Viktor Velikzhanin/TASS via Getty Images

Dmitry Gudkov, a prominent Russian opposition politician who was held in police custody for two days last week, announced Sunday that he's left the country for Ukraine because he fears he'll be arrested.

Why it matters: Authorities are moving to stamp out dissent before Russia's parliamentary elections in September, per AP — which notes leading opposition figure Andrei Pivovarov was last week jailed for two months pending an investigation into the pro-democracy Open Russia group.

  • The 41-year-old Gudkov said in a Facebook post as he traveled to Kyiv that several Kremlin sources had told him that if he did not leave the country, the "fake criminal case" against him would result in his arrest.

Driving the news: Gudkov was placed under house arrest last Tuesday in a criminal case concerning allegations that he didn't pay a rental property debt.

  • The former member of parliament told Reuters Friday he had no connection to the rental property and the real reason for the case was that Russian officials didn't want him to run for a seat in Russia's parliament.

Go deeper

Exclusive: Zelensky "surprised" and "disappointed" by Biden pipeline move

Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: Sergei Supinsk/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he learned through the press — not any direct heads-up — that President Biden had decided to stop trying to block a Russian pipeline that Ukraine sees as a dire national security threat.

Driving the news: Zelensky used an hourlong Zoom interview with Axios on Friday to beseech Biden to meet with him face to face before a June 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — offering to join him "at any moment and at any spot on the planet."

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Distrust in political, media and business leaders sweeps the globe

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Trust in government is collapsing, especially in democracies, according to a new global survey.

Why it matters: People also don't think media or business leaders are telling them the truth, and this suspicion of multiple societal institutions is pushing people into smaller, more insular circles of trust.