Vladimir Putin's Russia has further tightened the repression against the opposition. In recent times, the Russian authorities have targeted dissidents, independent newspapers, activists. A year ago, Putin's number one opponent, Alexey Navalny, was arrested as soon as he returned to Russia from Berlin, where he had been treated for a poisoning suspected by the Kremlin 007s. Today - according to various Russian and international media - Leonid Volkov and Ivan Zhdanov, two of Navalny's closest collaborators, have been included on a list of people who the Russian authorities accuse of involvement in "extremist or terrorist" activities. which appears as yet another action to stifle dissent.
"It is simply necessary to understand that these are fascist methods of the Russian state: stigmatizing, defining 'terrorists', 'foreign agents'," Zhdanov said in an interview with Current Time.
"There is nothing funny about this. Yet we will in no way cease to continue our business."
Leonid Volkov, 41, was the head of the regional offices in Navalny, now in prison on charges deemed to be clearly political in nature. 33-year-old Ivan Zhdanov headed the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation, which with its hugely popular video investigations created more than a headache for Putin and his allies. Both the Navalny regional office network and the Anti-Corruption Foundation had already been declared "extremist" in Russia in a move that many observers undoubtedly believe politically motivated. And perhaps it is no coincidence that the very label of "extremist" is now being used by the authorities to brand two prominent dissidents like Volkov and Zhdanov. However, according to the online media Meduza, those who are on this blacklist on charges of "terrorism"they have an asterisk next to their name, a sign that is missing in the case of the two opponents.
According to the Moscow Times, inclusion on this black list, drawn up by the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, effectively results in exclusion from the Russian banking system because financial institutions are prohibited from providing services to persons and organizations on the list.
"We are pioneers in this kind of nonsense," Zhdanov wrote on Twitter stating that this type of measure could spread further in the country.
In recent times, several of Navalny's allies have had problems with Russian justice and some have moved abroad.