Russia's largest private donor backing science fined in 'foreign agent' dispute

Russia's largest private donor supporting science has been fined for refusing to register as a foreign agent.

Critics say the government is using the law which brands foreign-funded organizations engaged in loosely defined political activities to hound NGOs which are critical of the Kremlin.

Russian news agencies said Wednesday that a court in Moscow has fined the Dynasty Foundation 300,000 rubles ($5,600) after the foundation refused to register as a foreign agent. It has been giving grants to science projects and scientists for over a decade.

Dynasty, funded by 82-year-old physicist and founder of a NASDAQ-listed company Dmitry Zimin, was set to allocate about $8 million in grants this year. Zimin has been quoted as saying he will close the foundation because it was placed on the list.