Moscow moves to shut down anti-Putin opposition

Police are reported to have detained Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny during a raid on the headquarters of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow, Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokeswoman, announced on social media.

"Alexei was forcibly detained and taken away. He did not resist. Lawyers are still at the FBK, and there's a search underway," she wrote on Twitter.

CCTV footage of the raid showed police using power tools to saw through the front door. A group of men, some of them masked, could then be seen searching the office before one of them covered a CCTV camera up with tape.

Speaking to Deutsche Welle (DW), Yarmysh said police had timed the raid to coincide with the filming of an episode of Navalny's YouTube show “Navalny Live," so that “there can be no show."

She said last week's episode — which covered a shooting outside the FSB building and Putin’s press conference — garnered nearly 1.5 million views,  a “record number." 

Ruslan Shaveddinov

"They didn’t like that success," she told DW, adding: "If they search our offices they can seize our technical equipment, so there can be no show."

There was no immediate comment from the police.

The raid occurred two days after Ruslan Shaveddinov (pictured right), a project manager at Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, was arrested at his Moscow home after the door was broken down, the electricity cut-off, and the SIM card on his mobile phone remotely disabled. 

The next day he reappeared at a remote military base on Novaya Zemlya, a freezing archipelago in the Arctic Ocean having been forcibly conscripted.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today.

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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