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Russian NGOs defy law naming them "foreign agents"

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Sept. 27, 2012, 5:37 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. Russian non-government organizations say they will ignore a new Kremlin law obliging those of them that receive funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents." Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a Soviet-era dissident who heads the Moscow Helsinki Group said Thursday that Russian rights activists have "survived the Soviet power and .. will survive this."
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

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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