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Russia's Prime Minister Responds to Corruption Allegations by Blocking Opposition Leader on Instagram

Dmitry Medvedev / Instagram

Earlier this month, Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation published a scathing report accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of secretly masterminding a corrupt empire worth billions of rubles. On Friday, Medvedev finally responded directly to Navalny — by banning him on Instagram.

Indirectly, Medvedev also extended (misspelled) birthday greetings to an Instagram user named Natalia Teterina, after the woman criticized Navalny’s report in a comment on one of the prime minister’s photos.

“Navalny is a typical political hitman, and his report doesn’t contain a single proven fact — it’s nothing by lies and defamation!” Teterina wrote online. “It’s all especially disgusting to me because they published this hit job on my birthday!”

Apparently in a show of support, Medvedev then wished her a happy birthday in a comment below.

According to the Anti-Corruption Foundation's investigation, the prime minister allegedly runs a “massive corruption scheme,” using non-profit companies to accumulate large bribes and vast real estate.

Navany's researchers used photos of Medvedev to connect him with clothing bought by particular individuals and email accounts. These accounts were then linked to larger companies, some of which acted as fronts for Medvedev to gather bribe money, according to the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

The group previously used geotags on Medvedev's Instagram in 2016 to link him to a luxurious summer mansion in Russia's Ivanovo region.

Both the Kremlin and Medvedev's spokesperson have denied all of the allegations, dismissing the claims as part of Navalny's presidential campaign.

"This is not the first show of creativity by this well-known convict," Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's press secretary, told journalists.

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