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Article

19 Jan 2016

Author:
Alec Luhn, The Guardian

Russia: Environmental NGO labelled "foreign agent" in crackdown on NGOs

"Russian green group labelled 'foreign agent' in crackdown on NGOs", 14 January 2016

An ecological centre in Russia’s far east has become the latest environmental group to be declared a “foreign agent” amid a wider crackdown on NGOs. The justice ministry ruled that Dauria, which has led environmental campaigns in Chita and the surrounding Zabaikalsky region for nearly two decades, was a foreign agent under a law that prohibits NGOs that allegedly engage in political activities from receiving grants from abroad. The label, which has all the connotations of the word “spy” in Russian, requires groups to undergo audits and declare this status on all their materials or face large fines. The accusations stemmed from a joint programme between Dauria, Russian mining giant Polyus Gold and the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation. Dauria was in charge of selecting students for educational activities, while funding for the programme came from abroad.