Russia has added two key allies of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to a list of “terrorists and extremists,” days ahead of the first anniversary of the opposition leader’s arrest.
Leonid Volkov and Ivan Zhdanov, who left Russia as authorities were clamping down on the opposition and dissenting voices, were seen Friday in a database compiled by the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring).
In a post on Instagram, Zhdanov, 33, mocked the announcement in a public message to 41-year-old Volkov saying, “congratulations, bro.”
The past year has seen an unprecedented crackdown on dissent in Russia, including the jailing of Putin’s top critic Navalny last January and the outlawing of his political organizations.
Navalny’s political organizations were branded “extremist,” prompting his team to shut down the regional network that supported his political campaigns and corruption investigations.
Almost all of his top allies have since fled the country.
Navalny – President Vladimir Putin’s highest-profile domestic opponent – has been behind bars since returning to Moscow in January from Germany, where he was recovering from a poisoning attack with a Novichok nerve agent that both he and the West blame on the Kremlin.
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