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Investigative Committee Says Russian Activist Possesses Illegal Surveillance Device

Natalia Pelevina

Russia's Investigative Committee has opened an investigation after an illegal surveillance device was found at the home of opposition activist Natalia Pelevina, the committee's website reported Friday.

Natalia Pelevina is a member of the PARNAS opposition party.

A pen-like video recorder was discovered at Pelevina's apartment during a search, according to the committee.

"The illegal circulation of such items is punishable by law and a criminal case against Pelevina was opened," the committee reported.

Pelevina's apartment was last searched on Thursday, the RIA Novovsti news agency reported.

During the search, law enforcement claim they also discovered documents showing that Pelevina received $35,000 from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) foundation in 2013-2014.

Pelevina was a co-founder of the so-called May 6 Committee that aided Russia's political prisoners who took part in large-scale anti-Kremlin protests on Moscow's Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012. More than 10 people were sentenced to jail terms after the protests.

The Investigative Committee believes that the documents prove that foreign organizations were financing Russia's opposition to spark mass disobedience.

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