Russia adds Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to 'terrorist' list

World Tuesday 25/January/2022 16:11 PM
By: DW
Russia adds Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to 'terrorist' list

 Russia on Tuesday put Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny and a number of his allies, including a main aide, Lyubov Sobol, on a database of "terrorists and extremists."

The decision by the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring comes as President Vladimir Putin's government continues its campaign to repress dissent, which has seen the jailing of Navalny and the outlawing of his political organizations in the past year.

Two other key Navalny aides, Leonid Volkov and Ivan Zhdanov, were added to the same list earlier this month.

According to Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, nine other of his allies were included on Tuesday. The foundation was declared extremist and closed down last year, meaning all people associated with it were banned from running for public office.

Being on the list puts them in the same category as right-wing nationalist organizations, Afghanistan's militant Islamist Taliban and the extremist "Islamic State" (IS) group.

The move also leads to their bank accounts being frozen.

Exodus of allies

Almost all of Navalny's allies, including Sobol, Volkov and Zhdanov, have since left Russia.

Navalny himself has been in prison since January 2021. He was jailed upon his return from Germany, where he had been recovering from poisoning by a nerve agent — an attack he and others have blamed on the Kremlin.

He is currently serving a 2 1/2-year sentence in a prison camp for allegedly violating parole conditions on fraud charges. The conviction is widely seen as politically motivated, with Navalny known as Putin's most vocal political opponent.