Russian authorities blocked opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s website on Thursday a month before a presidential election, a move Navalny said was designed to blunt his campaign for a boycott of what he says is a sham vote. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, said it had ordered telecoms operators to block parts of Navalny’s site because he had ignored a request to remove material covered in an injunction obtained by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska said his claim was related to the dissemination of false allegations about him based on leaked private information and was designed to protect his right to privacy.
“(It) has nothing to do with any political struggle between Mr Navalny and his political opponents,” Deripaska said in a statement.
“Mr Navalny is not a party to the pending case as he was not the primary source of the leaked private information.”
Navalny, who has been barred from running in the March 18 presidential election which incumbent Vladimir Putin is forecast to win, accused the authorities of acting to hinder his campaign aimed at getting people to boycott the election.