At least four Russians have been detained for donating to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s “extremist” organizations, state and independent media reported Wednesday.
Law enforcement officers carried out searches in connection with financing Navalny’s groups in the Russian cities of Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow and Krasnoyarsk, according to the independent human rights watchdog OVD-Info.
The watchdog identified the detained men as Nizhny Novgorod residents Gleb and Dmitry Kalinychev, Moscow resident Ilya Startsev and Krasnoyarsk resident Andrei Novokreshchenykh.
A Russian court in June 2021 blacklisted Navalny’s political and activist networks as “extremist.” Financing an extremist group carries a punishment of up to 8 years in prison.
Kalinychev is set to be transported to a local Federal Security Service (FSB) office and will face a court decision on his pre-trial detention on Thursday, OVD-Info said.
Video shared by the state-run broadcaster RT showed uniformed agents handcuffing Novokreshchenykh in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk and leading him to an apartment building.
The reports did not disclose the amount of money that was said to have been donated to Navalny’s networks, including the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF).
An August 2022 report on a similar arrest said that prominent plagiarism campaigner and journalist Andrei Zayakin had donated as little as 1,000 rubles ($10) to ACF.
Citing anonymous sources, RT reported that it expects more arrests of Navalny’s supporters.
“A body of evidence is now being formed against other sponsors of ACF and participants in its projects, including Navalny’s so-called underground campaign offices,” RT wrote.