The imprisoned Kremlin critic Navalny appears in court via video link when his election campaign offices are disbanding


© Reuters. Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, is seen ahead of a trial in Moscow


MOSCOW (Reuters) – The team of incarcerated Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said it disbanded its network of regional campaign offices across Russia on Thursday when the opposition appeared on a video link from prison and looked gaunt after a hunger strike.

His allies made their announcement on a YouTube video ahead of a trial to examine a request by prosecutors to declare the main pillars of Navalny’s political organization as extremist.

A Moscow court banned the Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and its separately managed network of regional campaign offices from posting online earlier this week.

The FBK was banned Tuesday from accessing its bank accounts, organizing protests and publishing media articles at the request of prosecutors, while the court is considering further action.

If the network is declared extremist, the authorities will be given legal powers to pass prison sentences on to activists and freeze bank accounts.

Navalny, 44, is serving a 2-1 / 2-year prison sentence for parole violations based on a previous conviction he believed was politically motivated.

On his first appearance since his hunger strike, which he said was ending gradually, a shaved navalny looked physically drained and lost weight, according to a reporter who saw him on a grainy video link during the trial.

Navalny went on hunger strike in prison on March 31 to request adequate medical care for leg and back pain. He said on April 23 that after medical care he will gradually begin to end it, although the political outlook for him and his movement has darkened.

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