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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FSB Denies It Spied on Yavlinsky




The Federal Security Service has denied accusations that it spied on liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky or harassed supporters of his Yabloko party.


In June, Yavlinsky wrote to the FSB demanding it investigate allegations by Dmitry Barkovsky, a Yabloko activist in St. Petersburg, who said the FSB had threatened to send him to Chechnya if he didn't spy on the party.


Yavlinsky also claimed that he and other top Yabloko leaders had been shadowed for several weeks and their conversations bugged. He alleged that the FSB, the chief successor to the Soviet-era KGB, was behind it.


In a letter sent to Yavlinsky on Thursday, FSB director Nikolai Patrushev denied the agency was investigating Yabloko.


"No investigative actions in relation to the Yabloko party, you personally, other leaders of the party, or D.A. Barkovsky have been conducted or are being conducted,'' Patrushev wrote to Yavlinsky.


"The FSB of Russia firmly observes the principle that it is inadmissible to restrict the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, except in cases that are directly stipulated by law.''


Yabloko spokesman Sergei Loktionov refused to comment Friday, saying Yabloko had not officially received the letter.