Navalny’s team said on Monday that Russian authorities have restricted access to the website of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and dozens of sites run by his close allies.
This move comes at a time when the government is putting increasing pressure on opposition supporters, independent journalists and human rights activists before the Russian parliamentary elections. The September vote is widely regarded as an important part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to consolidate his rule before the 2024 presidential election.
68-year-old Russian leader who has been in power for more than 20 years Constitutional changes Last year, this may allow him to stay in power until 2036.
Navalny’s website, as well as those of his top strategist Leonid Volkov and long-time ally Lyubov Sobol, were unavailable on Monday. The website of the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation and a network of about 40 regional offices are also inaccessible, and the Russian government listed it as an extremist group last month. Neither can the website of the Union of Doctors supported by Navalny and the online page calling for Navalny’s freedom.
Requirements of the Office of the Attorney General
According to Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state communications monitoring agency, access to all websites is restricted at the request of the Russian Attorney General’s Office. In a statement to Interfax News Agency, Roskomnadzor confirmed that these sites were blocked, saying that they were “used to promote” extremist groups.
“[They] Decided to completely wipe us out of the Internet,” Navalny’s colleague Maria Pevchikh wrote on Twitter.
Navalny, Putin’s most ardent political enemy, was arrested in January. Back from germanyHe spent five months there recovering from the nerve agent poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin-Russian officials rejected the accusation.
In February of this year, Navalny was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating the probation clause for the 2014 corruption offence. He was dismissed due to political motives.
His arrest and imprisonment triggered a wave of large-scale protests in 11 time zones in Russia, which appeared to be a major challenge to the Kremlin. The authorities responded with mass arrests of demonstrators and criminal proceedings against Navalny’s closest associates.
The politician’s anti-corruption foundation was established 10 years ago and has released dozens of colorful and widely watched videos, exposing the suspected corruption of senior government officials, and the network of regional offices that Navalny relies on Together they were labeled as extremist organizations. Organize protests.
The ruling not only prohibits the operation of foundations and offices, but also prevents people associated with the organization from seeking public office and exposes them to long-term imprisonment.
Navalny’s team noted on Monday that the Smart Voting website-a project that supports candidates who are most likely to defeat the Kremlin-dominant United Russia Party in various elections-is still available.
Strategist Volkov suggested that the authorities may block the strategy website when the election is approaching in September, and Navalny’s team plans to deploy a smart voting project on the website.
Navalny’s close ally, Ivan Zhdanov, posted on Instagram that the politician’s team was “not surprised” that the website was blocked and “so prepared for them”. Zhdanov urged supporters to follow Navalny’s team and its members on social media, “it’s harder to stop us there,” and download a mobile app that includes all recent surveys and smart voting projects.
“There is currently no way to block the application,” Zhdanov wrote.