Russia opens new criminal case against top Navalny allies

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities have opened a new criminal case against the two closest allies of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The Investigative Committee on Tuesday accused Leonid Volkov and Ivan Zhdanov of raising funds for extremist groups. The investigation is the latest in a series of government moves to stifle Navalny’s already embattled team. In June, a court outlawed Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and a network of his regional offices as extremist organizations. The designation barred people associated with the groups from seeking public office and exposed them to lengthy prison terms. Last week, Navalny’s team announced it was resuming fundraising through the use of encrypted transactions that bypass the Russian banking system.  

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