Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained on Thursday by authorities during a raid on the headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow. The raid comes just a day after Navalny claimed that the forcible conscription and re-location to a remote base in the Artic by the government amounted to kidnapping and Illegal imprisonment.
The authorities have not released why Navalny was detained but his Anti-corruption Foundation (on whose headquarters the raid took place) which routinely exposes the corruption of public officials has been the subject for criminal investigation under suspicions of money laundering. Russian President Vladimir Putin had barred Navalny from participating in the presidential elections against him last year.
Новогодний фейерверк! В ФБК pic.twitter.com/2DKAsCfekI— Николай Ляскин (@nlyaskin) December 26, 2019
Footage from the raid shows masked using power tools to get through the door. After sawing through the door one of the men is then seen covering up the CCTV camera. The money-laundering investigation against Navalny's organisation was launched back in August after he called for demonstrations in Central Moscow.
В этот раз к нам пришли не только люди в масках, но и в касках.— Навальный LIVE (@navalnylive) December 26, 2019
Камеры наблюдения отключили, начинают в очередной раз грабить студию. pic.twitter.com/wsper3ew77
Those demonstrations were in opposition to a candidate being unjustly removed from local elections. Navalny's organisation has also been named a foreign agent operating in Russia by the Justice Ministry, meaning that it can be subjected to spot checks at any time.
Чувствую, что это может быть новый "мем" pic.twitter.com/5OQg3YWQMD— Александр Головач (@Golovach_AA) December 26, 2019
Alexei Navalny is a lawyer and political activist who is also the leader of the Russian Progress Party. A staunch critic of Russian President Vladamir Putin, he has regularly organised marches and demonstrations against political corruption and Putin's regime. International media has called him the man that Putin fears the most.