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Under new "foreign agents" rule, Russian prosecutor identifies 215 nonprofits who receive foreign funding, engage in "political activity"; Putin urges leniency.

"Russian prosecutors said Tuesday that 215 nongovernmental organizations had violated a contentious new Russian law that requires them to register as 'foreign agents,' potentially setting the stage for a new wave of legal confrontations. Russia’s general prosecutor, Yuri Y. Chaika, reported on the results of a law passed last November, which requires nonprofit groups to label themselves foreign agents if they receive financing from overseas and are deemed to engage in political activities. Most nonprofits here resolved to defy the new law, saying the term foreign agent is redolent of cold war espionage and would discredit their work in the eyes of the public." -- Ellen Barry, the New York Times

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