Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s team said on Thursday it was officially disbanding its network of regional campaign offices across Russia.
The announcement, in a YouTube video, comes ahead of a court hearing which is due to consider a request from prosecutors to declare the main pillars of Navalny’s political organisation as extremist.
On Wednesday, Russian authorities rapidly painted over a large mural of Navalny after it appeared overnight on a building in central St Petersburg.
The mural in President Vladimir Putin’s hometown showed a smiling Navalny, making a heart shape with his hands next to the slogan “A hero of a new time”.
Police arrived at the scene at 9am local time and workers arrived to start painting over it with yellow paint within around 90 minutes. It was unclear who painted the mural.
Navalny, Putin’s most outspoken domestic opponent, is serving a 2-1/2 year jail sentence for parole violations on an earlier conviction that he says was politically motivated.