Nashi Activist: We Snooped on Opposition Groups

It has been long known that Nashi and other so-called “Putin Jugend” groups are well-funded by the Kremlin to harass and sometimes directly assault opposition members and events. As the economic crisis makes such funding more difficult, expect such stories to be increasingly frequent.

From The Moscow Times:

Undercover pro-Kremlin agents have worked in opposition groups across Russia to provide the presidential administration with information on opposition activists and rallies, a self-described handler said Thursday.

Anna Bukovskaya, a St. Petersburg activist with the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth group, said she coordinated a group of 30 young people who infiltrated branches of the banned National Bolshevik Party, Youth Yabloko and United Civil Front in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Voronezh and six other cities.

The agents informed Bukovskaya, who passed the information to senior Nashi official Dmitry Golubyatnikov, who in turn contacted “Surkov’s people” in the Kremlin, Bukovskaya told The Moscow Times. Vladislav Surkov is President Dmitry Medvedev’s first deputy chief of staff.

The agents provided information on planned and past events together with pictures and personal information on activists and leaders, including their contact numbers, Bukovskaya said by telephone from St. Petersburg.

They were paid 20,000 rubles ($550) per month, while she received 40,000 rubles per month, she said.

She said Nashi, which is believed to have been created by Surkov, had nothing to do with the project and speculated that Kremlin officials might be behind it.