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World Navalny app removed from online stores as Russian polls open

12:45  17 september  2021
12:45  17 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

How Putin is embracing authoritarianism as state elections loom

  How Putin is embracing authoritarianism as state elections loom If you were to ask the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny is currently an involuntary resident of Corrective Colony No. 2 in Vladimir Oblast because he violated the terms of his parole stemming from a 2014 conviction for fraud and money laundering. © Provided by Washington Examiner Laughably missing from this explanation is the fact that when Navalny failed to attend court-ordered bi-monthly meetings with Russian officials from Sept. to Dec. 2021, the staunch Putin critic and anti-corruption activist was hospitalized in Berlin. He was recovering from a Kremlin assassination attempt that involved the deadly nerve agent Novichok.

MOSCOW (AP) — An app created by allies of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny disappeared from Apple and Google stores on Friday as polls opened across Russia for three days of voting in a parliamentary election.

Russian Army soldiers cast their ballots during the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament and local parliaments elections at a polling station outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky) © Provided by Associated Press Russian Army soldiers cast their ballots during the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament and local parliaments elections at a polling station outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky) A woman examines her ballot on during the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament and local parliaments elections at a polling station outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky) © Provided by Associated Press A woman examines her ballot on during the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Parliament and local parliaments elections at a polling station outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

It comes as Russian authorities seek to suppress the use of Smart Voting, a project designed by Navalny to promote candidates that are most likely to defeat those backed by the Kremlin. This weekend's election is widely seen as an important part of President Vladimir Putin's efforts to cement his grip on power ahead of the 2014 presidential election, for which control of the parliament is key.

EXPLAINER: How Navalny election tool challenges the Kremlin

  EXPLAINER: How Navalny election tool challenges the Kremlin MOSCOW (AP) — Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his embattled allies are not running in the Sept. 19 parliamentary election, but they still hope to challenge the ruling United Russia party with their strategy known as Smart Voting. Hardly any Kremlin critics are allowed to run in the election to the parliament, or State Duma. Control of that body is seen as a key part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his hold on power heading into the next presidential balloting, scheduled for 2024. Putin already has been running Russia since 2000.

A man walks to casts his ballot at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © Provided by Associated Press A man walks to casts his ballot at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Apple and Google have come under pressure in recent weeks, with Russian officials urging them to remove the app, which features Smart Voting, saying failure to do so will be interpreted as interference in the election and threatening them with fines.

Last week, Russia's Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. ambassador John Sullivan over the situation.

Putin observes war games with Belarus that worry neighbors

  Putin observes war games with Belarus that worry neighbors MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has observed military exercises being conducted in coordination with Belarus that have raised concerns in bordering countries. Putin on Monday attended exercises at a training ground in the Nizhny Novgorod region, 450 kilometers (275 miles) east of Moscow. The exercises included what the Defense Ministry said was the first use in a combat environment of two new robotic fighting vehicles that are equipped with machine guns and grenade launchers.

On Thursday, representatives of Apple and Google were invited to a meeting in the upper house of Russia's parliament, the Federation Council. The commission said in a statement after the meeting that Apple agreed to cooperate with the Russian authorities.

Apple and Google have not responded to a request for comment.

In recent months, authorities have unleashed a sweeping crackdown against Navalny’s allies and supporters in an effort to suppress Smart Voting.

After recovering from poisoning with a nerve agent last year, Navalny was given a 2½-year prison sentence for violating parole over a previous conviction. He says both the poisoning and the conviction were politically motived — charges the Kremlin denies.

His top allies were slapped with criminal charges, and his Foundation for Fighting Corruption, as well as a network of regional offices, have been outlawed as extremist organizations. That has exposed hundreds of people associated with the groups to prosecution. Many of his top associates have left the country. About 50 websites that his team ran have been blocked, and dozens of regional offices have been closed.

Just 27 Percent of Russians Prepared to Vote for Putin's Party in Upcoming Election

  Just 27 Percent of Russians Prepared to Vote for Putin's Party in Upcoming Election Russian authorities cracked down on potential opposition, enacting new laws that blocked some from running for office and even jailing others. Abbas Gallyamov, a political analyst and former speechwriter for the Kremlin, said that administrative efforts to overpower the opposition may be the only way United Russia can pursue control with the small percentage of votes expected to go to the party. For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

A woman prepares to casts her ballot at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) © Provided by Associated Press A woman prepares to casts her ballot at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The authorities have moved to block the Smart Voting website as well, but some internet users can still access it.

Navalny's close ally Ivan Zhdanov on Friday tweeted a screenshot of what appears to be an email from Apple, explaining why the app should be removed from the store. The screenshot cites the extremism designation for the Foundation for Fighting Corruption and allegations of election interference. “Google, Apple are making a big mistake,” Zhdanov wrote.

Russian soldiers stand in line to vote at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Russian soldiers stand in line to vote at a polling station during the Parliamentary elections in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Russia has begun three days of voting for a new parliament that is unlikely to change the country's political complexion. There's no expectation that United Russia, the party devoted to President Vladimir Putin, will lose its dominance in the State Duma. (AP Photo)

Leonid Volkov, Navalny's top strategist, wrote on Facebook that the companies “bent to the Kremlin's blackmail.”

Internet giants Navalny app

 Internet giants Navalny app Delete At the beginning of the parliamentary elections in Russia, the Internet companies Google and Apple have an app for protest voting process from their systems removed. This was confirmed by the team of the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny. © Shamil Zhumatov / REUTERS The protest app of Kremlin critic Navalny is on Google and Apple untraceable The Navalny team the app was designed to break so the power monopoly of the Kremlin party "United Russia".

Russia Says U.S. Lawmakers 'Fiercely Do Not Like Our Country' As Sanctions Proposed .
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has criticized an amendment to a U.S. congressional bill that seeks to sanction 35 prominent Russians—including him.Russian media outlets reported how an amendment by Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) to a defense budget bill would seek to punish 35 Russian officials, businessmen and journalists.

usr: 1
This is interesting!