The Russian Prosecutor’s Office has declared the activities of the websites Bellingcat and Insider, as well as the Czech NGO Central and Eastern European Legal Initiative Institute (CEELI Institute) “undesirable” on the grounds that they are “foreign agents”.
“Taking into account the results of a study on the basis of harvested materials, the Russian Prosecutor’s Office has recognized the activities of the British Bellingcat, the Latvian Insider and the Czech CEELI Institute,” the entity said in a statement accessed by the Interfax news agency.
Russian prosecutors consider that the activities of these organizations “pose a threat to the foundations of Russia’s constitutional order and security.” “Information about this decision has been sent to the Ministry of Justice for inclusion in the list of undesirable organizations in Russia,” the text reads.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ratified a series of amendments to the law on “foreign agents,” which now states that “Russian or foreign entities, public associations and foreign structures operating without establishing a legal entity regardless of their citizenship” may be classified as such.
This will not, however, affect Russian public entities and bodies, such as state corporations, religious and business associations that have already been registered previously, according to state news agencies.
The law defines a foreign agent as “any person who has received support from abroad or is under other forms of foreign influence and engages in political activities, intentional collection of information on Russia’s activity in the military or military-technical sphere or distributes messages and materials intended for an unlimited circle of people.”