Russian opposition from the Anti-Corruption Foundation is subjected to brutal persecution by the Kremlin after an attempt to reduce the results of pro-government forces in local elections.
The media reports about nationwide police raids that target ACF activists, their houses and offices. Their bank accounts get blocked as well.
The raids started after the Election Day, when people voted for local government members, governors and mayors. The official government barred independent opposition candidates from balloting, dispersing opposition rallies and sentencing five protestors to prison for 2-5 years. It caused a new wave of repressions.
ACF’s Alexei Navalny stated that Kremlin is trying to get revenge for the "smart voting”, which was a strategy to convince people to vote for the most dissident candidates from the so-called "systemic opposition". As a result, Putin’s "United Russia" party won only 20 of the 45 seats in the Moscow City Duma (in contrast to 40 in previous elections). This time, the Communist Party ended up being the most popular political force.
"Our colleagues were laid on the floor, their relatives' houses were examined, their phones and laptops were stolen, their accounts were blocked," Navalny’s Telegram channel reported.
"There is a reason to suggest that these bank accounts may contain money obtained illegally," the police explained. It is worth noting that Russian donations comprise a large part of the funds.
"Our coordinator reported that a female police officer made her undress. She examined her brassiere searching for "prohibited items", while the General Administration for Combating Extremism representative busily walked around the room,” the message read.
Navalny tweeted that more than 200 searches had taken place in 41 cities.
The police, investigators, National Guard and security services are engaged in "the biggest police operation in Russia's modern history", as Navalny asserted.
"Putin got upset and is stomping his feet," he added on a YouTube video.
"The issue of political repressions is the main political issue on the agenda. This morning massive and coordinated searches of ACF employees across occurred across the country," Russian oppositional businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky wrote in his Telegram channel.