Linked Websites on the Russian Internet have been restricted at the request of the Russian government, according to Alexei Navalny.
Authorities in Russia have blocked dozens of websites linked to imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, according to Navalny’s team on Monday.
The list included Navalny’s own website, as well as dozens of others maintained by his close associates. Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption, along with its network of around 40 regional offices, was declared an extremist organization last month.
The websites of top Navalny strategist Leonid Volkov and longtime associate Lyubov Sobol, as well as Navalny’s foundation and network, the Alliance of Doctors union, which is endorsed by Navalny, and a page advocating for Navalny’s freedom, were all down Monday.
Navalny’s associate Maria Pevchikh tweeted, “[They] have resolved to entirely wipe us out of the Internet.”
The limitation was ordered by the Russian prosecutor general’s office, according to Roskomnadzor, Russia’s official communications watchdog. The ban is the Russian government’s latest effort to put pressure on opposition sympathizers, independent journalists, and human rights campaigners ahead of the September parliamentary elections.
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The elections are widely regarded as a crucial part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to solidify his power ahead of the presidential election in 2024.
Last year, Russia’s 68-year-old president, who has been in power for more than two decades, pushed through constitutional reforms that might allow him to stay in power until 2036.
Navalny, Putin’s most fervent political critic, was jailed in January after returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlinâ€”a charge that Russian officials deny.
Navalny was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in February for violating the terms of a suspended sentence stemming from an embezzlement conviction in 2014, which he described as politically motivated.
In what appeared to be a huge challenge for the Kremlin, his arrest and imprisonment provoked a wave of large protests across Russia’s 11 time zones. Authorities retaliated by arresting a large number of demonstrators and pursuing criminal charges against Navalny’s closest friends.
Along with the network of regional offices that Navalny has relied on to organize, the politician’s Foundation for Fighting Wrongdoing, which was created ten years ago and has produced hundreds of colorful and extensively watched videos exposing alleged corruption, was branded as an extremist organisation. This is a condensed version of the information.