Navalny
© Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny
Russian officials responsible for tracking financial crimes like money laundering and funding foreign militants have added the political operations of jailed anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny to a list of extremist groups.

The decision made headlines on Friday, after Rosfinmonitoring, Moscow's state agency monitoring illicit transactions, included "the social movement of Navalny's headquarters" in their list of "active terrorists and extremists," along with 510 other organizations. Far-right political factions and radical religious groups are among those registered by the officials.

Under Russian law, a group can be included on the list on the grounds that it is involved in illegal financial activity if justified by prosecutors, criminal investigators, or government departments.

A case against Navalny's political campaign headquarters is currently being heard behind closed doors, with authorities seeking to have its operations banned under extremism laws. A judge is also considering whether to extend the same measures to two organizations set up by the jailed activist, the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens' Rights, both already designated as foreign agents by the country's Ministry of Justice over links to overseas funding.

On Thursday, one of Navalny's most prominent allies, Lithuania-based Leonid Volkov, announced that the social movement's campaign headquarters would be wound up. The court hearing the extremism case had previously ordered a pause on much of its activities while prosecutors set out their arguments.

"It is impossible to work under these conditions. We're officially dissolving Navalny's network of headquarters," Volkov wrote on Telegram. He added that, while local branches would cease to exist, supporters could continue with their actions as independent campaigners.

Justifying the decision to pursue a case against Navalny's organizations, prosecutors said in a statement that "under the guise of liberal slogans, these groups are engaged in creating conditions for destabilizing the social and socio-political situation."

Navalny is currently serving time in a prison colony for breaching the terms of a suspended sentence handed down to him in 2014 after being found guilty of involvement in a scheme to defraud French cosmetics firm Yves Rocher of 30 million rubles ($400,000).

On Thursday, it was reported that Russia's Investigative Committee had opened a new case against Navalny and a number of his allies, including Volkov, for operating an illegal organization. His supporters say the charges are linked to the ongoing case against the network of campaigning groups.