Experts consider that outlawing the Anti-Corruption Fund will be a serious blow to its ability to influence within Russia.
The activist appears in a visibly thinner court after the hunger strike, although he maintains the challenge: “Your king is naked,” he attacks.
Doors and windows locked tight. The occasional pamphlet with the name of Alekséi Navalni scattered on the ground, next to the entrance. Through the cracks in the shutters, yes, you can glimpse, hanging on a wall, a poster with voting slogans .
This is what remains of what was once the burgeoning office of the Russian opposition movement in Moscow, located in a basement on the Boulevard Ring .
Leónid Volkov , the number two of the organization, has decreed from Lithuania the closure of the representative offices of the Fund Against Corruption (FBK, for its acronym in Russian), the NGO founded by the blogger, in anticipation of being declared an extremist by Russian justice, a decision that if confirmed, will equate it, for legal purposes, with the Islamic State .
“The poster was removed a month ago,” explains a neighbor who asks to remain anonymous. The movement has reported on Telegram that in cities like Saratov , the local headquarters have been shot at, albeit without victims.
The trial that will resolve the outlawing of FBK has been postponed this Thursday to give the defense time to study the prosecution’s materials , although no one doubts that the verdict will not favor the activist.
Very hard hit
This will be a huge blow to the organization’s ability to spread its message . “The FBK, although it was not allowed to participate in elections, operated in a small niche that will cease to exist,” said Aleksánder Títov , professor of Modern European History and expert on Russia at Queen’s University in Belfast , over the phone .
“Thanks to this margin of freedom, investigations into corruption were published, slogans were given for the so-called ‘smart vote’ and unauthorized demonstrations were called,” he continues. The academic predicts that the movement’s actions will be limited ” abroad, ” which will reduce its influence.
Navalni, however, remains up to the challenge . This Thursday he appeared by videoconference before a court in the appeal of a case for defamation to a veteran of World War II . Visibly thinner and shaved after the hunger strike , he continued to lash out at the Kremlin. “I want to tell the dear court that your king is naked; millions of people are already shouting it,” he accused.