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Activist arrested in Ufa as first suspect in extremism case against Alexey Navalny

Source: Ivan Zhdanov

On Tuesday, November 9, Russian law enforcement in Ufa arrested Liliya Chanysheva, the former head of Alexey Navalny’s regional campaign office in Bashkiria. 

Lawyer Ivan Zhdanov, the CEO of “Navalny’s Team,” wrote on Twitter that Chanysheva was detained for 48 hours on suspicion of creating an extremist group. 

Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the imprisoned opposition leader and his associates on these charges in late September. This case was later combined with other criminal cases launched against Navalny for alleged fraud and for allegedly creating a nonprofit organization that “infringes on the liberties and rights of Russian citizens.”

Chanysheva is the first suspect detained in connection with the criminal case launched over the creation of an “extremist group.” 

Alexey Navalny Liliya Chanysheva
Evgeny Feldman

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, law enforcement in Ufa raided Chanysheva’s home, as well as the homes of several other local activists formerly linked to Navalny’s political movement. Activist Rustem Mulyukov, who has been a suspect in the extremism case since September, was among those whose homes were searched, but law enforcement didn’t seize any of his belongings or place him under arrest.

Also on Tuesday, law enforcement officials raided the homes of former Team Navalny activists in Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk. Presumably, these searches were also in connection with the criminal case for organizing an “extremist group.”

Several activists were taken in for questioning following the searches, but all of them were released, with the exception of Liliya Chanysehva. Some of the activists have, however, been declared witnesses in a criminal case. 

The Moscow City Court outlawed Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK), Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, and national network of campaign offices as “extremist organizations” in June 2021. 

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Hundreds of thousands of extremists Russia has finally outlawed Alexey Navalny’s political and anti-corruption movement. Here’s how the crackdown affects activists, journalists, and ordinary supporters.

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