CSO of the Week: The spectre of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation – now closed – continues to haunt the Russian authorities, it seems

Week-ending 30 July 2021

On 26 July 2021 Roskomnadzor blocked 49 websites linked to Aleksei Navalny, including his personal website, on the grounds they spread ‘propaganda and banned extremist activity.’ On 28 July Roskomnadzor said social media accounts linked to Navalny should also be blocked. On 30 July Roskomnadzor demanded that YouTube block Navalny’s YouTube channel. On 9 June 2021 a Russian court had banned the Anti-Corruption Foundation and two other organisations linked to Navalny as ‘extremist.’ This is despite the fact that Navalny closed down the Anti-Corruption Foundation on 20 July 2020.


RFE/RL, 20 July 2020: Russian opposition politician and outspoken Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny has announced the closure of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) after using it for almost a decade to reveal wrongdoing by the Russian authorities.

The Guardian, 9 June 2021: A Russian court has outlawed opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s nationwide political organisation on the grounds it is “extremist”, in a landmark step for Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on political dissent.

The Moscow Times, 26 July 2021: Russia’s state internet watchdog on Monday blocked 49 websites linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, including his personal website where he published investigations into alleged high-level corruption that have sparked nationwide protests in recent years. Roskomnadzor’s actions come one week after it blocked the website of a prominent legal group that represented Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in the case that saw it banned as “extremist,” as well as stock-photo sharing website Pixabay.

The Moscow Times, 27 July 2021: Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny Tuesday called on supporters to mobilize ahead of key parliamentary polls after authorities blocked dozens of websites linked to his opposition movement. On Monday, Russia’s media regulator barred 49 websites linked to Navalny including his main website navalny.com as pressure mounts on opponents of President Vladimir Putin ahead of September parliamentary elections. Navalny associates expect the authorities to soon also target a website dedicated to “Smart Voting” — a proposed strategy to back candidates best placed to defeat Kremlin-linked politicians in elections.

The Moscow Times, 28 July 2021: Russian authorities have blocked jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s mirror website using the tools that help telecom providers “isolate” Russia’s section of the internet, the privacy NGO Roskomsvoboda said Tuesday.

The Moscow Times, 28 July 2021: The Russian internet watchdog said Wednesday social media accounts linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny should be blocked, as Moscow turns up the heat on the opposition ahead of parliamentary polls.

The Moscow Times, 30 July 2021: Russian authorities have demanded that YouTube block jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s popular channel that has published viral investigations into corruption and fueled anti-government protests in recent years, his senior ally said Friday. 

In other related news:

RFE/RL, 27 July 2021: The former leader of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s team in St. Petersburg, Irina Fatyanova, says she has been barred from taking part in upcoming elections because of her ties to the Kremlin critic. The head of Fatyanova’s campaign, Ilya Lyubimov, said that the election commission of Russia’s second-largest city made the decision on July 27 after receiving a request from the Justice Ministry to disqualify Fatyanova.

RFE/RL, 30 July 2021: On July 14, a court ordered Violetta Grudina, a former local representative for opposition leader Aleksei Navalny in Murmansk who is seeking a seat on the City Council, hospitalized and treated for COVID-19 — despite the fact that she had no symptoms, a negative test, and a doctor who testified that she did not need treatment.

RFE/RL, 30 July 2021: A court in the Russian city of Vladimir has rejected jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s lawsuit against a decision that bans his lawyers from bringing mobile phones and laptop computers into the penitentiary during visits.

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