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Russian Police Search Unregistered Opposition Party's Office

Leonid Volkov is the leader of Yekaterinburg's PARNAS branch.
Leonid Volkov is the leader of Yekaterinburg's PARNAS branch.
YEKATERINBURG, Russia -- Police in Yekaterinburg have searched the office of the unregistered opposition party PARNAS (Party of People's Freedom), RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

RFE/RL's correspondent reports that 10 policemen arrived at the PARNAS office in one small room in the city center at around 5.00 p.m. on October 31 and searched it.

The police refused to give any official explanation, but individual police officers told journalists unofficially that the search was carried out after a local resident received a sticker from the PARNAS office with a logo that "mentions a party of scoundrels and thieves."

That formulation is often used by Russian opposition groups as well as online activists and bloggers to designate the ruling United Russia party.

Some of the policemen claimed the leader of PARNAS's branch in Sverdlov Oblast, Leonid Volkov, paid for about 10,000 stickers with that slogan to be printed at a local printer.

Police have already impounded almost all of them. Volkov was refused registration last week as a candidate for the election to the regional Duma.

This is not the first time local law-enforcement officers have confiscated stickers denigrating "the party of scoundrels and thieves."

An unspecified number of similar stickers were confiscated earlier this month from local businessman Vitaly Listratkin, who had paid to have them printed.

Read more in Russian here