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Russian regulator blocks Alexei Navalny's website

Authorities have removed websites belonging to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and dozens of his allies. The move comes during the run-up to parliamentary elections in September.

Graffiti depicting Alexei Navalny

Authorities removed websites belonging to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and dozens of his allies

The Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor has blocked 49 websites connected to anti-government activist Alexei Navalny, including his own website, his team said on Monday.

They were looking into ways to sidestep the block, Leonid Volkov — a close ally of Navalny — said on the Telegram messaging service. He added that they would soon announce their plan.

The list of blocked sites included navalny.com, as well as the site for his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and several regional offices.

Roskomnadzor later confirmed it had blocked sites in connection with the political activist on the request of the state prosecutor's office.

Leonid Volkov during a rally in April

Leonid Volkov, the chief of staff for Navalny's organiszation, has become its mouthpiece since the Kremlin critic was sent to jail

Navalny is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for parole violations. He was arrested after returning from Germany where he was receiving treatment for nerve agent poisoning.

Russians head to the polls in September. Opponents of President Vladimir Putin are hoping to unite against his ruling United Russia party.

A recent court ruling effectively outlawed Navalny's organization by declaring it extremist.

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ab/aw (Reuters, AFP, IFAX)