The Washington Post

Navalny’s network is ‘extremist,’ court says

- — Isabelle Khurshudya­n

A Moscow court on Wednesday declared the political and anticorrup­tion networks of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny “extremist” organizati­ons, a move that will essentiall­y crush the most formidable resistance to the Kremlin and force it undergroun­d.

The ruling effectivel­y equates Navalny’s political group and his Anti-corruption Foundation with the Islamic State, al-qaeda and the Taliban in authoritie­s’ eyes.

Navalny and his allies have long been barred from running for public office. But forcing the movement to disband marks a new, more aggressive chapter in Russia’s political repression.

Navalny’s team members face six years in jail if they continue to work. Donating to the groups will be punishable by jail time.

Navalny is serving a prison sentence of more than two years on charges he said are politicall­y motivated. He was poisoned last year with a nerve agent, a plot Navalny has said was carried out by state security agents acting on President Vladimir Putin’s orders.

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