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Russian police are reportedly planning felony charges against top anti-corruption activists
Source: Proekt

Russia’s Investigative Committee is preparing to charge top executives at the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) with money laundering and tax evasion, according to a new report by the website Proekt, which cites a source in law enforcement and internal police case files. Journalists say the authorities have examined the bank accounts of Leonid Volkov, Alexey Navalny, former FBK director Roman Rubanov, Ruslan Shaveddinov, and other staff at the foundation.

According to Proekt, more than 1 billion rubles (almost $15.4 million) passed through the Anti-Corruption Foundation’s Alfa-Bank account in the past two years. Volkov has reportedly moved more than 540 million rubles ($8.3 million) through his personal account, while Rubanov has transferred 215 million rubles ($3.3 million), and Shaveddinov has handled 52 million rubles ($797,940).

According to the case files obtained by Proekt, some of this money was allegedly deposited at ATMs in cash, and the funds themselves “might come from abroad from third parties.” The police reportedly believe this money is highly suspicious.

Responding on Twitter to Proekt’s report, Volkov accused the authorities of treating legitimate donations to Navalny’s anti-corruption work (sent through Volkov’s personal bank account) as “laundered money,” arguing that the police are trying to criminalize Navalny’s regional headquarters.

In 2016, Russia’s Justice Ministry and Attorney General’s Office audited the Anti-Corruption Foundation, examining its fundraising procedures. Beforehand, investigators raided the organization’s offices, following fraud allegations by State Duma deputy Mikhail Degtyarev. The authorities never brought any charges related to these inspections.