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Tue, 10 Dec 2019 02:34 GMT

Russia Escalates Crackdown Against Government Opponents


7Dnews London

Thu, 08 Aug 2019 17:28 GMT

There are heightened tensions between opposition activists and the Russian authorities, after the freezing of the assets of an anti-corruption group, AFP reported on Thursday August 8th.

Russia has frozen the assets of the Foundation for Fighting Corruption (FBK) that top opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, set up to expose the questionable wealth of top government officials, his spokeswoman said.

The decision comes amid a crackdown on the opposition, that has seen Navalny jailed, and thousands of people detained, at a series of rallies in Moscow calling for free and fair elections.

FBK has published reports detailing the lavish lifestyles of figures close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

A Moscow district court froze 75 million rubles ($1.1 million) held in accounts of the FBK, and those of several staff members, Navalny's spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter.

"This is the amount that they considered to be 'laundered,' " she wrote on Facebook.

Investigators said that the FBK knowingly used a large amount of money that was gained by third parties through crime. A spokeswoman said it was around one billion rubles ($15.3 million).

The recent opposition protests have been among the largest since Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012.

Demonstrators are protesting against Moscow's refusal to allow prominent opposition candidates, who support Navalny, to stand in the Russian capital's September local elections.