A dozen Navalny allies have been added to the 'terrorist' list. Putin's top critic Navalny was jailed and his political organisation was outlawed last January, in what has been a brutal crackdown on dissent in Russia during the past year. Photograph:( WION Web Team )
This decision places them on the same footing as right-wing nationalist groups and foreign 'terrorist' groups, including the Taliban and the Islamic State extremist group
As authorities continue their crackdown on the opposition, Russia on Tuesday added jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a number of his allies to its list of "terrorists and extremists".
Navalny and several of his allies, like his key aide Lyubov Sobol, have been listed in a database of banned individuals compiled by the Federal Monitoring Service for Financial Institutions (Rosfinmonitoring).
This decision places them on the same footing as right-wing nationalist groups and foreign "terrorist" groups, including the Taliban and the Islamic State extremist group.
Putin's top critic Navalny was jailed and his political organisation was outlawed last January, in what has been a brutal crackdown on dissent in Russia during the past year.
Sobol and the majority of Navalny's allies have since fled the country.
A dozen Navalny allies were added to the list on Tuesday, according to Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was shut down last year after being declared extremist.
Lawyer Vyacheslav Gimadi, anti-corruption investigator Georgy Alburov, and several former regional office coordinators, who were also labelled extremists last year, are among those
They include Georgy Alburov, Vyacheslav Gimadi and several former coordinators of Navalny's regional offices that were also branded extremist last year.
A lawyer for Navalny's anti-corruption Foundation and producer of the opposition politician's YouTube channel, Sobol, 34, has been wanted by Russian police since October.
"Participated in elections and was fighting corruption? Extremist," Sobol tweeted.
Меня, Навального и коллег включили в государственный список террористов и экстремистов. Участвовала в выборах и боролась с коррупцией? Экстремист.— Соболь Любовь (@SobolLubov) January 25, 2022
Возможно, я первый выпускник МГУ с красным дипломом юрфака в этом списке.
'Super team of terrorists'
Navalny's key aides Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov were added to the list earlier this month.
On Tuesday, they mocked the "terrorist" label.
Previously in charge of Navalny's regional offices, Volkov tweeted that he was "proud to work in our team of 'extremists and terrorists'".
Горжусь работать в нашей прекрасной команде "экстремистов и террористов".— Leonid Volkov (@leonidvolkov) January 25, 2022
Девальвируя значение слов или выворачивая значение слов на изнанку, Кремль роет все глубже яму себе: делает все для того, чтобы те, кто еще верит Путину, переставали ему верить.
"It's great that our super team of 'terrorists' is being joined by such great people," Zhdanov, who headed the now-disbanded Anti-Corruption Foundation, said on Twitter.
Ну собственно как и говорил. Мы всего лишь были первыми публичными. Потом будет массово.— Ivan Zhdanov (@ioannZH) January 25, 2022
Классно, что наша суперкоманда «террористов» пополняется такими крутыми людьми.
United States and European Union both condemned the move, which came amid high tensions over fears of Russia invading Ukraine.
"This latest designation represents a new low in Russia's continuing crackdown on independent civil society," US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington.
"We urge Russia to cease the abuse of 'extremism' designations to target nonviolent organizations, to end its repression of Mr. Navalny and his supporters, and to honour its international obligations to respect and ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms," Price said.
Watch | Gravitas: The story of Alexei Navalny
Moreover, in an apparent attempt to increase pressure on Navalny's opposition, prison officials have asked a Moscow court to convert Navalny's brother Oleg's suspended sentence into a real jail time one.
This request was registered with Moscow's Lyublinsky district court on Monday.
Oleg Navalny received a one-year suspension of his sentence last year for violating anti-coronavirus restrictions during protests demanding his brother's release.
(With inputs from agencies)