Russian security forces have raided three of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s offices in Moscow on the eve of a local election where he is advocating voters to unseat Kremlin-backed candidates.
The raids took place ahead of the Sept. 8 city legislature vote that galvanized this summer’s mass protests in Moscow when election officials disqualified opposition candidates, including some of Navalny’s allies, from the ballot.
Navalny has promoted a “Smart Voting” strategy, urging supporters to vote for the candidates best positioned to beat Kremlin-aligned incumbents this Saturday.
At least nine people were detained in Navalny’s office and taken to a police station before being released without charges.
Police told Navalny volunteers that the raids took place as part of an investigation into alleged mass civil riots during the July 27 protests.
Via The Moscow Times