Russia Seeks to Ban ‘Movement’ Supporting Jailed Ex-Khabarovsk Governor

Prosecutors in Far East Russia’s Khabarovsk region are seeking to ban the so-called “Ya/My Furgal movement,” according to a statement published on the Russian Justice Ministry’s website. 

The phrase “Ya/My Furgal” (Russian for “I’m/We’re Furgal”) has been used by supporters of jailed ex-Khabarovsk region Governor Sergei Furgal since his detention in 2020, which sparked some of Russia’s longest-running protests that continue to this day. 

Last February, Furgal, who governed the Far East region between 2018 and 2020, was found guilty of double homicide and sentenced to 22 years in prison.

The Khabarovsk region’s prosecutor’s office recently filed a suit asking a local court to ban the “inter-regional public movement Ya/My Furgal” as an “extremist” organization, though it is not clear if an organization by that name exists.

According to the Justice Ministry’s announcement, the Khabarovsk Regional Court has scheduled a hearing to consider the suit on Feb. 22.

Engagement with “extremist” entities carries the risk of criminal prosecution under Russian law.

The murder case against Furgal was widely seen as politically motivated after Furgal, a member of Russia’s far-right Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), defeated the Kremlin-backed United Russia candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial race.

Following his arrest in 2020, Furgal was removed from office by President Vladimir Putin “due to loss of confidence,” and replaced by Mikhail Degtyarev, a controversial but more Kremlin-friendly member of LDPR. 


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