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Russia blocked 49 websites linked to Alexei Navalny before the parliamentary elections: "They decided to take us off the Internet."

Russia blocked 49 websites linked to Alexei Navalny before the parliamentary elections: “They decided to take us off the Internet.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Sputnik / Alexei Nikolsky / Kremlin via Reuters)

On Monday, Russia’s media regulator blocked 49 websites linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as pressure mounts on opponents of President Vladimir Putin. before the parliamentary elections.

Restricted sites include files Navalny’s main siteAnd navalny.comAs well as the websites of the regional offices of Navalny and its key allies.

partners Navalny noted that the authorities will soon also point to a website dedicated to “smart voting”., a proposed strategy for Support the candidates best able to defeat Kremlin-linked politicians in the elections.

He accomplished this tactic The ruling United Russia party lost several seats In the last local elections.

Opposition leader Ilya Yashin waves the Russian flag during a rally to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the assassination of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and protest against proposed amendments to the country's constitution.  (Reuters / Shamil Zumatov / File Photo)
Opposition leader Ilya Yashin waves the Russian flag during a rally to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the assassination of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and protest against proposed amendments to the country’s constitution. (Reuters / Shamil Zumatov / File Photo)

The Russian opposition says the authorities are intensifying the campaign of intimidation Against opponents before a parliamentary vote in September, accusations rejected by the Kremlin.

A little bit of the Putin’s most vocal opponents have fled the country He closed many independent media and activist groups.

NavalnyPutin’s most outspoken domestic critic, He was arrested in January after returning to Russia after months of treatment in Germany for poisoning. By a nerve agent, he blames the Kremlin.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a screen during a hearing to consider his allegations against the penal colony regarding conditions of detention there, at Petushki District Court in Petushki, Russia, on May 26, 2021 (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appears on a screen during a hearing to consider his allegations against the penal colony regarding conditions of detention there, at Petushki District Court in Petushki, Russia, on May 26, 2021 (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

In February, it was Two and a half years in prison on old fraud charges Their organizations were banned in June for being “extremist” and members and sponsors were barred from running in the September parliamentary elections.

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On Monday, Russia’s state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, She said These websites were blocked, according to what prosecutors said were “extremist” organizations.

“The above Internet resources are used for propaganda and to continue the prohibited activities of (Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation) FBK”The sergeant said in a statement to AFP.

Navalny’s main website was not available in Russia on Monday.

“Clean the Internet”

The opposition politician’s allies condemned the move.

“Night of the Long Knives”, Navalny’s top aide wrote on Twitter: Leonid Volkov, referring to the bloody purge of military and political rivals waged by Adolf Hitler in Germany in 1934.

Leonid Volkov, a prominent Navalny ally (Reuters / Fabrizio Pinch / Archive)
Leonid Volkov, a prominent Navalny ally (Reuters / Fabrizio Pinch / Archive)

Volkov, who lives in Lithuania, an EU member state, added that The group “will soon tell” its followers “how we are going to solve all this.”

“They decided to completely clean us from the Russian Internet”added Maria Bifchikh, head of investigations at the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation.

Navalny anti-corruption group has He promised to continue the fight after calling him an “extremist”, It is a measure condemned by Western countries.

Russia has increased pressure on its critics since Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment in JanuaryThis prompted some allies of opposition politicians to flee the country.

Chairman of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund, Ivan Zhdanov, It was Listed on the Internationally Wanted She was subjected to several criminal investigations.

Ivan Zhdanov, director of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund (Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)
Ivan Zhdanov, director of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Fund (Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP)

Last week, a Moscow court extended the house arrest of a spokeswoman for Navalny, Kira Yarimsh, for six months. She has been under house arrest since February after authorities accused her of violating coronavirus restrictions in a protest in support of Navalny.

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This month, A legal group that defended Navalny’s organizations said that It was dissolved for fear of criminal penalties.

the The Anti-Corruption Foundation routinely publishes investigations into alleged acts of corruption by officials from all levels of government.

His most notable investigation was showing videos on YouTube Sprawling luxury real estate presumably owned by Putin and ex-President and Prime Minister Dmitry MedvedevWhich helped spur mass protests against the government.

(With information from France Press agency)

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