Russian police carry out another round of nationwide raids against oppositionist Alexey Navalny's offices
On the morning of October 15, Russian law enforcement launched another series of nationwide raids on Alexey Navalny’s regional headquarters. According to the website OVD-Info, police searched offices in Ufa, Samara, Saratov, Yekaterinburg, Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, Krasnodar, Biysk, Novokuznetsk, Novosibirsk, and Vladivostok. Anti-Corruption Foundation director Ivan Zhdanov also reported raids in Belgorod, Voronezh, Izhevsk, Kemerovo, Cheboksary, Stavropol, Rostov-on-Don, and Arkhangelsk. Some activists, for example in Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk, were also brought in for questioning by state investigators, after the searches. Police officers also searched the foundation’s national headquarters in Moscow.
The raids are connected to a felony money-laundering case against Navalny’s organization. In August 2019, during mass opposition protests in the capital, state investigators accused the Anti-Corruption Foundation of accepting funds it knew to be acquired illegally. Officials initially said the group laundered 1 billion rubles ($15.6 million), but they later lowered this amount to 75 million rubles (about $1.2 million). The authorities have repeatedly carried out nationwide raids on Navalny’s offices, and frozen the bank accounts of multiple staff.
On September 12, police searched Navalny’s headquarters in 41 cities across Russia. In early October, Russia’s Justice Ministry added the Anti-Corruption Foundation to its list of “foreign agents,” claiming that the group accepted about $2,000 in donations from the U.S. and Spain. The organization says these transfers were made after the Russian authorities froze its accounts.