A court in Moscow has banned political organisations linked to the jailed Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny, classifying them as “extremist”.

Activists will risk prison sentences if they continue their work and anyone who publicly supports Mr Navalny’s political network can now be barred from running for public office.

Writing on social media, Mr Navalny promised he would “not retreat”.

However, he said his supporters would now have to change how they work.

Mr Navalny is in prison for violating the terms of parole in an embezzlement case – charges he says are politically motivated.

Russian parliamentary elections are due to take place in September and opinion polls show the ruling party losing support. Some of Mr Navalny’s supporters have been planning to run in the elections.

Following Wednesday’s ruling, a court statement said Mr Navalny’s regional network offices and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) had been banned with immediate effect.

“It was found that these organisations not only disseminated information that incited hatred and enmity against government officials, but also committed extremist actions,” prosecutors’ spokesman Alexei Zhafyarov said outside the court.

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