On Thursday morning, the Russian police has started raiding the offices and volunteers’ places linked to Alexei Navalny’s led Anti-Corruption Fund (ACF) throughout the country.
В списке уже 29 городов. Адресов больше 80: не только квартиры координаторов и штабы, но и квартиры сотрудников штабов, активных волонтеров; в ряде случаев приходят по месту регистрации, к родственникам.
— Leonid Volkov (@leonidvolkov) September 12, 2019
The police officers are conducting searches in 29 cities and towns, including Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Penza, Saratov, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Chelyabinsk, Leonid Volkov, Head of Navalny’s campaign HQ, said on Twitter.
According to him, the law enforcers whose actions are ‘well-organized’ are seizing all equipment they find in the offices.
“The state has set itself the task of intimidating and fleecing us,” Volkov stressed.
The major goal of the operation is to dismantle the structure and thwart the work of Alexei Navalny’s team, he added.
In early August, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over laundering a billion Russian rubles (about $ 15.4 mln). According to the investigators, in 2016-2018, a number of persons ‘relating to the activities of the NGO Anti-Corruption Foundation, including its employees’, received money from third parties. They blocked the accounts of the foundation, as well as over 100 accounts belonging to individuals and entities.
According to the foundation, the authorities’ actions are nothing but politically motivated retaliatory measures. The ACF has been at the forefront of the protests against barring independent candidates from running for seats in the Moscow City Duma.
On July 28, Navalny was taken to hospital due to a ‘severe allergic reaction’. Physician Anastasia Vasilyeva, who earlier treated Navalny, does not rule out that ‘toxic damage’ to the skin and mucous membranes was caused by an unknown chemical substance and is the result of the action of a third person.
In its recent investigation, the Anti-Corruption Foundation said that Natalia Sergunina, First Deputy Mayor of Moscow, was linked to multimillion-dollar property. The sum in question is 6.5 bn Russian rubles (more than $102 mln).