The Kremlin has denied a report that it financed a foundation headed by one of President Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics, Aleksei Navalny.
The tabloid-style Russian news outlet LifeNews appeared to have removed the report from its website after the news agencies TASS and Interfax quoted unnamed Kremlin officials as saying it was "absolutely absurd."
The report posted on November 6 was headlined "The Kremlin Was Covertly Financing Navalny," and said the Aleksei Navalny Foundation had been receiving money from the Kremlin.
A spokeswoman for Navalny's foundation, Kira Yarmysh, also called the report "absurd."
Navalny gained prominence with an online crusade against high-level corruption and helped lead a wave antigovernment protests in 2011-12.
He is under house arrest and is serving a five-year suspended sentence on a $500,000 theft conviction, one several legal actions he says are part of a Kremlin campaign to silence him.
Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax