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Independent Russian Pollster Fined For Not Registering As 'Foreign Agent'

Levada Center director Lev Gudkov says he will appeal the ruling.

A court in Moscow has fined the independent national pollster Levada Center for refusing to register as a "foreign agent."

The court ruled on October 26 that the Levada Center had to pay a fine of 300,000 rubles ($4,800).

Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada Center, said he will appeal the ruling.

In September, Russia's Justice Ministry branded the pollster a foreign agent.

The Levada Center is one of Russia’s largest nongovernmental polling and research organizations. It has published surveys that have irked Russian authorities.

A Russian law adopted in 2012 requires any nongovernmental organization that receives funding from abroad and engages in political activity to formally register as a "foreign agent."

Russian and international human rights organizations have said the law was introduced to silence independent voices.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS