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Moscow (AP) —Russian authorities blocked access to a website affiliated with imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday.
The move by state communications supervisor Roskomnadzor has been working for months to neutralize Navalny and his supporters.
In June, a Russian court outlawed Navalny’s network of anti-corruption foundations and his regional offices as an extremist organization. The ruling banned people associated with the group from taking public servants and exposed them to long-term imprisonment.
Roskomnadzor said he blocked the Smart Voting website “because it is being used to continue the activities of extremist organizations and host events.”
Developed by Navalny’s team in 2018, the website is in the strongest position in the September 19 elections to rule Congress and defeat candidates from United Russia, the power base of President Vladimir Putin. The purpose is to identify candidates.
Smart voting is also available in the app, but Roskomnadzor warned Google and Apple last week that they could be fined if they didn’t remove the app from the store.
Elections are widely seen as an important part of Putin’s efforts to consolidate his control before Russia’s 2024 presidential vote. Russian leaders, who have been in power for more than 20 years, pushed for a constitutional amendment last year that could keep them in power until 2036.
45-year-old Navalny is Putin’s most determined political enemy. He was arrested in January when he returned from Germany and spent five months recovering from a nerve agent addiction that accused the Kremlin. This is an accusation dismissed by the Russian authorities.
In February, Navalny was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating the suspended sentence from a 2014 embezzlement conviction dismissed for political motives.
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Russia blocks voting website linked to Navalny | WGN Radio 720
Source link Russia blocks voting website linked to Navalny | WGN Radio 720