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Police Raid Navalny's HQ in Kirov

At this very moment, Kirov police are searching [ru] Alexey Navalny's local headquarters, established to coordinate the blogger's public outreach in the city where he currently stands trial for embezzling roughly half a million dollars. The case has attracted international attention as the latest in a long series of politicized Russian judicial proceedings, including the trials of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, three members of Pussy Riot, and others. Using the website ustream.tv, “citizen journalist” [ru] and blogger Roman Pomych is broadcasting a live video feed [ru] of the raid, as police officers seize Navalny's leaflets (stuffing them in large plastic garbage bags) and question volunteers about their reasons for being in Kirov. Giggling and asking the police what they hope to find, Navalny's staff seems to be in some disbelief that it is at the center of a breaking news event. Indeed, for several minutes, someone played the “Bad Boys” theme song from the American TV show “COPS,” in an apparent effort to mock the unwelcome guests. According to ustream, almost 900 people are currently tuned in to Pomych's video feed.

Screenshot of Pomych's ustream feed. Police seize newsletters from Navalny's Kirov HQ.

Screenshot of Pomych's ustream feed. Police seize newsletters from Navalny's Kirov HQ.

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