Russian NGOs defy law naming them "foreign agents"
MOSCOW — Several leading Russian non-government organizations say they will defy a new Kremlin law forcing groups that receive funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents."
The heads of nine prominent groups have issued a joint statement saying they would ignore the law, which was approved by the Kremlin-controlled parliament over the summer in a bid to undermine the groups' credibility.
President Vladimir Putin, who has taken a tough line on dissent since his inauguration for a third term in May, has claimed that winter protests against his rule were instigated and funded by the United States.
Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a Soviet-era dissident who heads the Moscow Helsinki Group said Thursday that Russian human rights activists "survived the Soviet power and ... will survive this."
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