The new legislation was signed and published on a government site on Friday, the day which also marks the birthday of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. Founders and leaders of designated classes will not be in a position to run for elected office for five years after a court’s decision to ban the group. Workers or financial supporters of court-ruled extremist and terrorist organizations will be prohibited from running for office for three years.

Navalny was imprisoned earlier this season by a Moscow court for supposedly violating the probation terms of a 2014 case in which he received a suspended sentence of three and a half years. Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov tweeted on Friday he did not believe Putin”accidentally” signed the legislation now.
The new laws comes before a court decision regarding whether to designate both Navalny’s political and anti-corruption organizations as extremist groups after a lawsuit filed in April by the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office.

If accepted, the move by prosecutors could have serious impacts for Navalny’s team, already under severe pressure from police raids and arrests. Russia currently has sweeping anti-extremism legislation on the books that critics say effectively curb freedom of speech and rights to public assembly.
Tatiana Stanovaya, political analyst of Carnegie Moscow and creator of R.Politik told the legislation prohibits not just opposition politicians but average Russian citizens.

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“The law is part of a larger effort against anti-regime behavior in Russia,” she said. “The battle has become much larger, now even a Russian citizen who participates in protests, retweets an resistance post or devotes to opposition groups, face the risk of prosecution.”