The police are searching the places of activists working in opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s offices in at least eight Russian cities.
According to OVD-Info, the searches are underway in Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl, Yekaterinburg, Novokuznetsk, Samara, Saratov, Ufa and Vladivostok; Navalny’s associate Ivan Zhdanov says that the law enforcers have also visited their employees in Belgorod, Cheboksary, Izhevsk, Kemerovo, Stavropol and Voronezh.
In early August, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over laundering a billion Russian rubles (about $ 15.4 mln). According to the investigators, in 2016-2018, a number of persons ‘relating to the activities of the NGO Anti-Corruption Foundation, including its employees’, received money from third parties. They blocked the accounts of the foundation, as well as over 100 accounts belonging to individuals and entities.The ACF has been at the forefront of the protests against barring independent candidates from running for seats in the Moscow City Duma. Moreover, Navalny’s led foundation is widely known for investigating into corrupting cases and publishing information about pro-Putin officials’ being involved in shady businesses and affairs. For example, the team said that Natalia Sergunina, First Deputy Mayor of Moscow, was linked to multimillion-dollar property. The sum in question is 6.5 bn Russian rubles (more than $102 mln).
On September 12, the police raided Navalny’s offices and activists’ flats in 41 Russian cities.
A week ago, Russia’s Justice Ministry added the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) headed by opposition leader Alexei Navalny to the register of non-profit organizations which are considered as ‘foreign agents’.