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    Levada Center employees leave their office with the sign  Levada-center. Jury Levada analytic center. in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 20, 2013

    Russia's Levada Pollster Suspends Operations Following Foreign Agent Branding

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    The head of Russia’s Levada-Center research firm said Tuesday his company practically suspended work after authorities branded the pollster a foreign agent.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Monday, the Justice Ministry announced that Russia’s Yuri Levada Analytical Center was added to the list of non-governmental organizations that receive foreign funding. A ministry spokesperson said Tuesday it had been receiving most of its foreign financing from the United States.

    "Activities are suspended, you can put it that way," Levada-Center Director Lev Gudkov told RIA Novosti.

    Gudkov said his center had until Thursday, September 15, to file its appeal with the ministry. Afterward, he said the ministry could issue a protocol on the cancellation of administrative violations because Levada did not voluntarily register as a foreign agent.

    "Then we will try to challenge this act in court," the director stressed.

    In July 2012, a law was passed in Russia requiring non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are engaged in political activities and receive funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents" and to label all their publications as such. The law came into force in November 2012.

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