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Russia orders Apple and Google to ban app of Putin’s biggest rival, Alexei Navalny

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Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulator, has asked Apple and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to remove the app of the main opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin; Alexei Navalny.

Navalny, Putin’s opposition, is known for his investigations and exposures of the lifestyles of Russian elites, including the president and his entourage, as well as their embezzlements.

It isn’t the first time the Russian government has tried to suppress Navalny. In August last year, Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok aboard a flight within the country.

He was transported to Germany for medical care at his wife’s request, where testing indicated he had been poisoned, according to officials. Moscow denies that the Kremlin and the Russian security service, the FSB, were behind the attack.

Following a five-month recuperation period, the Kremlin critic returned to Russia and was promptly arrested and sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for “fraud.”

He claims that the case was politically motivated and he is facing embezzlement charges from Russian authorities.

Russian news agency Interfax reports that Roskomnadzor has made the decision to order the removal Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation from Google Play and Apple’s App Store because Russian courts have classified the organization as being extremist.

Both Google and Apple have yet to comment.

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