Russia expected to outlaw opposition leader Navalny’s groups

MOSCOW (AP) — A court is expected to outlaw the organizations founded by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The move is part of authorities’ efforts to muzzle critics ahead of a crucial parliamentary election in September. Prosecutors have asked the Moscow City Court to designate Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his sprawling network of regional offices as extremist organizations. In conjunction with a new law, the ruling expected Wednesday would bar people associated with the groups from running for public office. The extremism label also carries lengthy prison terms for activists who have worked with the organizations, anyone who donated to them, and even those who simply shared the groups’ materials. Navalny is the most adamant political foe of President Vladimir Putin.