CSO of the Week: Offices of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation searched again

Week-ending 6 November 2020

The Federal Bailiffs’ Service conducted a search of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, headed by Aleksei Navalny on 5 November 2020. The searches were said to be in connection with the failure of the head of the organisation, Ivan Zhdanov, to comply with a court order. Meanwhile the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, intimated that western intelliegence services might be behind the poisoning of Aleksei Navalny and the Prosecutor General’s Office said it had not received answers to questions it had asked of Germany about Navalny’s hospitalisation.

RFE/RL, Thursday, 5 November 2020: Officers of Russia’s Federal Bailiffs Service (FSSP) have searched the premises of outspoken Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow. FBK Director Ivan Zhdanov said on Twitter that the searches were conducted on November 5. A FSSP statement said that the FBK headquarters were searched due to a probe launched against Zhdanov over his failure to “follow a court order.” It gave no further explanation. Zhdanov wrote later on Twitter that he was informed that the searches were connected to a court ruling obliging him to pay 29 million rubles ($369,000) for an unspecified misdeed.

RFE/RL, Friday, 6 November 2020: Contradicting statements by Russian officials have suggested either that Western nations could be behind the poisoning in August of opposition politician and outspoken Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny, or that he was not poisoned at all, and just suffered from “acute pancreatitis.” News agency RIA Novosti on November 6 published an interview with the chief of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergei Naryshkin, who said that Western intelligence agencies had taken into account assassinating a Russian opposition leader “to revive the withered protest movement in Russia.” Navalny fell violently ill while on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk shortly after the plane took off on August 20, and the airliner made an emergency landing in Omsk, where Navalny was hospitalized before Russian authorities permitted him to be airlifted to Berlin for treatment.

Meduza, Friday, 6 November 2020: Russia’s Attorney General’s Office has reported receiving a “response from the relevant authorities” in Germany to four requests for legal assistance sent in connection with opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s “hospitalization” in Berlin. Navalny was medevaced to Germany for treatment in August after he was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent in Russia. According to a statement from the Attorney General’s Office, the response contained “requests for additional clarification and information regarding the investigation of the circumstances of A. A. Navalny’s hospitalization,” but did not include a “substantive explanation” for any of the questions from Russian prosecutors

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