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Team Navalny launches darknet website to coordinate “underground HQs”

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Alexei Navalny's associates – Team Navalny – have launched a darknet website that will relaunch the work of Navalny Headquarters, which are recognized as an “extremist organization” in Russia. Former Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF) director Ivan Zhdanov tweeted that the platform is “protected from the government, and everything is encrypted.”

According to Zhdanov, the new platform will allow Navalny’s supporters to unite into “underground headquarters” and coordinate their activities – including organizing political rallies, putting up posters and flyers, in addition to other protest actions.

“Anything that will bring the end of Putin and the war closer,” Zhdanov said.

The site is registered on the onion domain, which runs through the Tor browser. To access the platform, one has to first fill out a form on the Team Navalny website. The username and password to the “underground HQ” will then be emailed to the user. Zhdanov stressed that the login and password are both meant for one-time use (OTP), while users’ email addresses will be deleted.

On June 9, 2021, the Moscow City Court declared the Anti-Corruption Foundation (ACF), Navalny Headquarters, and the Civil Rights Foundation “extremist organizations.” Their activities are officially banned in Russia, and their members and even supporters, according to the new law, will not be eligible to be elected to legislative bodies at all levels for several years. The ACF was also recognized as a “foreign agent” prior to the June 9 ruling.

Criminal investigations have been launched against the former heads of regional Navalny HQs since the ruling, and their homes have been searched. Regional HQ heads have also become the subject of new criminal cases on “discrediting” the Russian army since the start of the war in Ukraine.

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