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The following blog is based on interviews with human rights defenders in the Russian Federation.
In the Russian Federation mass inspections of non-governmental organisations are currently taking place. According to Russian human rights organisation Agora which is trying to maintain a comprehensive list of NGOs searched, to date at least 94 NGOs in 24 regions have been visited.
This wave of inspections is unprecedented and looks more like police raids than regular inspections: teams of representatives from different state institutions come to the offices without warning, they take away boxes of documents and, sometimes, office equipment. During searches at some of the leading human rights NGOs the inspectors arrived at the same time as journalists from the tv channel NTV , a “teletabloid” which broadcasts the most odious pro-Kremlin propaganda. The Prosecutor office has denied co-ordinating the time of the searches with the journalists, but it is difficult to believe in such coincidence.