Despite being outlawed today by the Attorney General, opposition movement “Open Russia” says it’s continuing all operations, including plans for nationwide anti-Putin protests this Saturday. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the movement’s founder, wrote on Twitter that he’s “proud” to see his brainchild in the government’s crosshairs.
In fact, officials didn’t just ban Open Russia — they blacklisted it as an “undesirable organization,” perhaps the harshest way the Kremlin can outlaw a group, short of labeling it a terrorist or extremist faction. Citing Open Russia’s promotion of political demonstrations, the Attorney General said the organization threatens Russia’s “constitutional foundations” and “the security of the state.”
Khodorkovsky and several Open Russia representatives say the Attorney General’s decision applies only to the organization’s registered entities in Great Britain, and not to the “social online movement Open Russia,” which organizes protests, events, and manages a news media outlet.