MOSCOW (AP) — Police raided the Moscow office Thursday of an organization founded by a top foe of President Vladimir Putin that helps opposition candidates and political prisoners.
Open Russia said on its website that police arrived at the group's office in early afternoon and were searching it without providing an explanation. Founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky posted a photo of camouflaged men standing in the office lobby.
There was no immediate police comment about the search.
The search came as Open Russia has scheduled protest rallies against Putin for Saturday. Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, spent 10 years in prison on what was widely described as politicized charges before he was pardoned in December 2013 and left Russia.
While in exile, he continued to oppose Putin and declared that the goal of his new movement was to make sure Putin does not run for a fourth term next year.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that authorities would react "within the framework of the law," if the unsanctioned rallies go ahead on Saturday.
Also on Thursday, unknown attackers doused opposition leader Alexei Navalny with green antiseptic outside a conference venue in Moscow, his spokeswoman said. Navalny later wrote on his website that he was taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a chemical burn to his eye.
Navalny, who authored a documentary about the Russian prime minister's alleged corrupt wealth that was viewed more than 20 million times online, was the key force behind nationwide anti-government rallies in March, Russia's largest and most widespread in years.