Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Non-profit organization “Levada-center” has been included on the list of NGOs that are recognised as foreign agents.
“The fact that this organisation conforms to all characteristics of a non-commercial body performing the functions of a foreign agent was established during the unscheduled document check by the Directorate of the Ministry of Justice of Russia in Moscow,” said the statement of the Ministry of justice.
The check was conducted at the request of the movement “Antimaidan” and its co-chair Dmitry Sablin. An appeal was sent to the Ministry of Justice in July.
After “Antimaidan” sent a request, the Director of the “Levada-center” Lev Gudkov actually acknowledged that his organization receives money from abroad and is indirectly sponsored by the Pentagon, as is evidenced by documents in the public domain.
“It is necessary to recognize the Levada Center as a foreign agent and submit it to the appropriate list,” said Sablin back then. He recalled that “the activities of such structures is not prohibited in Russia, however they are obliged to inform the public that they fulfil the orders of the authorities of other countries.”
In accordance with the law, which was passed in 2012, NGOs that are engaged in political activities and are financed from abroad must obtain the status of a foreign agent. In June of this year, the lawmakers specified the definition of political activities. This definition contains the carrying out of opinion polls that “aim at shaping public and political attitudes”, organizing demonstrations, and evaluating the work of officials.
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