Nikita Belykh, who formerly led the Union of Rightist Forces party, was critical of the Kremlin
Russian investigators detained the governor of the Kirov region on Friday, saying they had caught him accepting a bribe in a Moscow restaurant.
The governor, Nikita Belykh, has been critical of the Kremlin and was formerly leader of a party, the Union of Rightist Forces.
A spokesman for the Investigative Committee said in a statement Belykh was accused of taking a bribe of 400,000 Euros ($444,240) and that a criminal case had been opened.
Vladimir Markin, the spokesman, denied there was any political subtext to Belykh's detention.
Investigators published a photograph on their website of Belykh sitting at a table on which piles of green 100-Euro notes were laid out.
Russian news agencies reported that Belykh was taken by investigators for questioning. Belykh's press service was not immediately available for comment.
Three months from a parliamentary election and with an economic crisis raging, Kremlin critics say, Russian officials are keen to keep opponents in check.