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Russia blacklists Khodorkovsky Foundation as ‘undesirable’

The Russian Attorney General’s Office has recognized Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s eponymous, U.K.-registered foundation as “undesirable” in Russia, along with several other NGOs based in Britain and France. 

On June 30, the Attorney General instructed the Justice Ministry to add the Khodorkovsky Foundation and its subsidiary, the Oxford Russia Fund, to the country’s registry of “undesirable organizations.” Prosecutors also blacklisted the London-based Future of Russia Foundation and the French organization European Choice. 

“It has been established that their activities pose a threat to the foundation of the constitutional order and the security of the Russian Federation,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement. 

Founded by exiled former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Khodorkovsky Foundation supports a variety of educational projects. Its subsidiary, the Oxford Russia Fund, provides undergraduate scholarships to Russian students in the social sciences and humanities fields. The Future of Russia Foundation and European Choice are also involved in educational projects.

Taking into account these newly blacklisted organizations, Russia’s registry of “undesirable organizations” now includes 40 NGOs. 

In 2017, the Russian Attorney General’s Office recognized two U.K.-based organizations linked to Khodorkovsky as “undesirable,” the Open Russia Civic Movement and OR (Otkrytaya Rossia). In turn, activists from the Russia-based organization Open Russia started coming under pressure from the authorities. In May 2021, Open Russia announced that it was disbanding completely to protect its supporters from criminal prosecution.

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