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June 19, 2015

Russian Donor Fined for Refusing to Register as Foreign Agent

Russia's largest private donor supporting science has been fined $5,600 by a Moscow court for refusing to register as a foreign agent, the Associated Press reports.

Dmitry Zinn, who is Russian citizen, was told his Dynasty Foundation would have to register as a foreign agent because it receives money from his foreign bank accounts

Mr. Zimin's foundation has been giving grants to scientists and science projects for more than a decade. This year it planned to give about $8 million, but because of the foreign-agent label, he will not be able to support state-funded libraries, schools, or colleges.

Mr. Zimin said he would close the foundation.

Critics say the courts have been hounding nonprofits that are critical of the government. Though Mr. Zimin has not supported opposition politicians, his son recently launched a nonprofit to promote independent media in the country, which often criticize the Kremlin.