The header wasn’t a clickbait. The non-profit organisation “Anti-Corruption Foundation” will indeed soon cease to exist. However, we will continue to fight corruption in Russia under a new name. Let me explain what is going on.
Last summer, City Duma elections took place in Moscow. Almost all strong independent candidates were denied registration. This led to a series of mass protests supported by FBK and Alexey Navalny, some of which were violently suppressed. Navalny urged his supporters to participate in the “smart voting” and cast their votes for the strongest remaining candidates who aren’t supported by “United Russia”. As a result, the governing party only managed to retain 25 out of 45 seats in the City Duma, and for the first time in modern history, there is now a large anti-government group of deputies in the capital’s parliament.
Vladimir Putin’s government did not take these news lightly. Soon after the elections, simultaneous police raids took place all across the country in Navalny’s regional HQs and the apartments of his supporters and their relatives. Bank accounts of FBK and its employees got blocked under the framed up money laundering case. The National Guard, the police, the prosecutor’s office, State Institution “Motor Roads” and even Moscow Metro all filed lawsuits against the foundation, demanding compensations of the financial losses they’ve allegedly sustained because of the protests. It seemed like the government was ready to do anything to crush FBK.
The last nail in our organization’s coffin was the lawsuit filed by “Putin’s chef” Evgeny Prigozhin. Last year, FBK lawyer Lyubov Sobol investigated several cases of food poisoning in Moscow schools and kindergartens. She managed to prove that the reason for these poisonings was the spoiled food supplied by Prigozhin’s catering companies, won a lawsuit against them and Moscow authorities and forced Prigozhin to pay roughly 300,000 rubles of compensation. However, Prigozhin soon responded with an 88-million-ruble (!) defamation lawsuit. Unsurprisingly, the court took his side, and now Navalny, Sobol and FBK itself each have to pay 29.2 million rubles to Prigozhin.
Naturally, there is no way such a huge amount can be raised. For Navalny and Sobol, this means that all their bank accounts will now be blocked, and bailiffs will be able to confiscate any of their property in favor of Prigozhin. As for FBK, its operational account will now be permanently blocked as well, which makes further functioning of the organization impossible.
Therefore, the Anti-Corruption Foundation will be shut down, and a new legal entity will be created in its place. We are sure that we will be able to continue our operations under a new name with the help of our supporters and their donations.