Russia calls Sakharov Foundation ‘undesirable’

Jan 22, 2023, 9:27 PM | Updated: Jan 23, 2023, 11:46 am

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities pressed ahead with their crackdown on alternative and dissenting voices on Monday by declaring a foundation named for Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov as “undesirable.”

The Russian prosecutor-general’s office said on its website that the Andrei Sakharov Foundation’s activities pose a “threat to the basic constitutional structure and security” of the country. It didn’t specify which activities were objectionable.

Since Russia launched what its officials call a “special military operation” in Ukraine nearly a year ago, its law enforcement and courts have cracked down on dissent, especially criticism of the Russian military or referring to its activities in the neighboring country by anything other than the officially allowed phrase. The crackdown has affected protesters, human rights groups, scientists, writers and others. Many have been put on trial, jailed or banned.

It wasn’t immediately clear what effect the Russian prosecutor-general’s decision would have on the Sakharov Foundation, whose website says it “strives to preserve his legacy, as we believe that the world will be a safer and better place if the words and ideas of Sakharov were to be broadly heard.”

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Russia calls Sakharov Foundation ‘undesirable’