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Russian anti-corruption Navalny group vows to 'continue to fight'

The group, led by critic Alexei Nalvalny, was recently branded an extremist group by a court in Moscow.

Alexei Navalny in 2020.
Alexei Navalny in 2020.
Image: Shutterstock/Gregory Stein

JAILED KREMLIN CRITIC Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption group on Thursday vowed to continue its fight, hours after a court in Moscow branded it extremist and ordered it to stop working.

“We woke up, smiled with destructive intent and knowing that we are a ‘danger to society’ will continue to fight corruption!” the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) wrote on Twitter in response to the late-night ruling from the Moscow city court.

FBK and Navalny’s network of regional offices received the designation which bans them from operating in Russia after prosecutors said they were plotting an uprising backed by the West.

Navalny’s allies, however, took to social media to brush off the designation and announce they would continue working.

“Woke up an extremist, sat down to work. I don’t feel any difference,” Georgy Alburov, a Navalny aide and key FBK investigator, tweeted.

FBK has published numerous investigations into the wealth of Russia’s elite, usually accompanied by YouTube videos that garner millions of views.

“Today I told my wife that I am now an extremist and can behave badly,” tweeted FBK head Ivan Zhdanov.

The “extremist” label in Russia can mean prison time for members of organisations branded with it.

In 2017, Russia outlawed the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious movement and its members have since faced criminal prosecution with dozens serving jail time.

Ahead of Wednesday’s ruling, Russian lawmakers also passed legislation that bans members and sponsors of “extremist” groups from standing in elections, with parliamentary polls coming up in the autumn.

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