Russian police have raided dozens of offices of the opposition group behind mass protests this summer and the homes of its supporters.
Leonid Volkov, a close aide to the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, said police searches were under way at more than 80 addresses in 29 cities. “This is not only offices and apartments of coordinators but also the homes of employees and volunteers,” Volkov said on Twitter.
Navalny’s spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said the raids were “an act of intimidation” and accused authorities of trying to deal a “massive blow” to the organisation. “The police’s only goal is to confiscate our material and paralyse our work,” she said.
Last month Russian investigators launched a money laundering inquiry against Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption (FBK), which has worked to expose officials’ questionable wealth.
Navalny and his supporters called the summer protests after opposition candidates were barred from standing in local elections in Moscow. Allies of Vladimir Putin suffered big losses in the elections last weekend.