Russian education officials launch an internal audit after a memo surfaces calling for the doxing of protesters
Education officials in Russia’s Vladimir region say they will conduct an internal audit, following reports about a controversial memo by the Education Department’s deputy director.
On November 1, Alexey Navalny’s campaign chief, Leonid Volkov, published a document signed by Elena Zaprudnova, where she advised municipal authorities and local officials in the Vladimir region to to photograph demonstrators at opposition rallies (“if possible, with a gigapixel camera”) and publish the images on the website Jesuismaidan.com, which publicly names protesters by matching their photos to their Vkontakte accounts.
A public relations spokesperson for Vladimir’s regional government told the television network Dozhd that officials are reviewing the matter, stressing that Vladimir Governor Svetlana Orlova has never issued orders similar to Zaprudnova’s recommendations. At the same time, the spokesperson did not deny the authenticity of the document published by Volkov.
The Vladimir region’s public relations office also noted that the memo shared online was formatted incorrectly, insofar as the document failed to identify the parties responsible for implementing the recommendations and did not set a deadline, as regulations require.
On November 1, Kirill Nikolenko, an attorney representing Navalny’s campaign in Vladimir, shared a recording of a telephone conversation with Lyubov Orlovskaya, a top education official in Vladimir, who he says confirmed the Zaprudnova memo’s authenticity.
Since the spring of 2017, Russian teenagers have become active participants in a protest movement led largely by Alexey Navalny, an anti-corruption activist trying to run for president. Russian election officials say Navalny isn’t currently eligible to run for office, however, because of laws banning felons from appearing on the ballot.