Russia searches homes and offices of Kremlin critic Navalny’s supporters

FILE PHOTO: IT entrepreneur and Kremlin critic Leonid Volkov leaves the Lublinsky district court after it refused to change the suspended sentence of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in the Yves Rocher case to a real prison term, in Moscow, Russia, August 1, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian law enforcement authorities on Thursday carried out at least 150 searches of homes and offices belonging to supporters of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, Leonid Volkov, a senior Navalny ally, wrote on social media.

The searches took place four days after Russia’s ruling United Russia party, which supports President Vladimir Putin, lost one third of its seats in the Moscow city assembly and suffered setbacks elsewhere while retaining its dominant position across Russia.

Navalny had urged his supporters to vote tactically to try to reduce the chances of Kremlin-backed candidates across the country, a strategy that appears to have had some success.

“The overall number of searches is over 150 and no less than 1000 Russian law enforcement employees were involved (in the raids),” Volkov wrote.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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