Russian Court Closes Foundation of Aleksei Navalny, a Kremlin Critic

“Putin was so scared by our announcement that we transform our campaign for presidency into a campaign for a boycott that he quickly created a special group to check our foundation,” Mr. Navalny said in a video released last week. “I think that”I

Mr. Navalny and others have noted that even though Mr. Putin’s re-election is a foregone conclusion, the Kremlin would still like to see a high turnout, as that would cement his legacy as one of Russia’s greatest leaders. In that context, a boycott becomes a very delicate issue for Mr. Putin, Mr. Navalny said.

“We wanted to take part in the election, but they did not let us, so we will campaign against this election,” Mr. Navalny said in the video. “You cannot consider Putin’s reappointment an election.”

The Justice Ministry said in court that the foundation had listed a wrong official address, that it was illegally spending money on Mr. Navalny’s presidential campaign, and that it had violated a law regulating the use of personal data. The judge, Irina Afanasieva, reached her decision in less than three hours.

“We have 30 days to appeal it,” Leonid Volkov, Mr. Navalny’s campaign manager, wrote on Facebook after the court’s announcement. “Until then, we continue our work.”

Mr. Navalny built his career on exposing graft in the higher echelons of the Russian government. Unlike many other Russian opposition politicians, he has openly accused Mr. Putin of involvement in corrupt activities.

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