Russian court may declare Alexei Navalny's group an extremist outfit

Russian court may declare Alexei Navalny's group an extremist outfit

Supporters of Navalny are defiant in the face of the possible ruling.

Moscow City court is expected to rule on a request from Moscow prosecutor to officially outlaw Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) as an extremist organisation.

FBK is the backbone of Navalny's political movement. The ruling is expected to come in a few days.

If the ruling is delivered, it will give the authorities legal power to arrest and jail Navalny's supporters and block bank accounts just for being activists in the foundation.

Supporters of Navalny are defiant in the face of the possible ruling.

Russian court may declare Alexei Navalny's group an extremist outfit
Alexei Navalny announces plans to end his hunger strike

Leonid Volkov, chief of staff of Navalny's team, said on Sunday the group would continue its work, including investigations into corruption.

"We are not going to give up," Volkov said in an online broadcast. Volkov lives in Lithuania.

Navalny was jailed in February for 2-1/2 years on charges he called politically motivated. On Friday, he said he would start gradually ending a hunger strike after getting medical care.

Navalny's allies have pressed ahead with his "smart voting" strategy, supporting politicians outside of pro-Kremlin United Russia party they believe to be well placed to beat the ruling party candidates and urging Russians to vote for them.

Russians are set to vote in general elections in September.

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