Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption group vowed on Thursday to fight on after a court branded it an “extremist” organisation and ordered its closure.
Western countries and the European Union were quick to condemn Wednesday’s late-night ruling, but senior Russian officials doubled down, describing Mr. Navalny as an agent collaborating with Washington.
The court decision was the latest move against critics of President Vladimir Putin. Some of his loudest opponents have fled the country and several prominent activist groups and independent media have closed.
The ruling bans Mr. Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and a network of regional offices from operating and, under a recently passed law, prevents those previously associated with the groups from running in parliamentary elections.
The FBK was defiant, saying in a Twitter post: “We woke up, smiled with destructive intent and knowing that we are a ‘danger to society’ will continue to fight corruption!”