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Moscow Launches Investigation Of Opposition Parnas Activist

Russian authorities have launched investigations against an activist of Russia's Parnas opposition party, Natalya Pelevina.

The Russian Investigative Committee's spokesman, Vladimir Markin, said on March 11 that investigators had found documents in Pelevina's house proving she received $35,000 from the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

According to Markin, the money was used "to discredit law enforcement agencies that investigated the mass disturbances on Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012."

The protest on Bolotnaya Square called for greater democracy in Russia on the eve of Putin's inauguration for a third term as president.

Russian authorities declared the NED as "undesirable" in July under a law that Moscow says is needed to prevent foreign organizations from being used to undermine Russian security. The NED is largely funded by the U.S. Congress.

The Parnas party, led by former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, openly positions itself as the Kremlin’s opponent.

Its co-chairman, Russia's former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead near the Kremlin on February 27, 2015.

Based on reporting by and Interfax