Moscow: The Russian Ministry of Justice announced that it has revoked the registration of 15 representative offices of international organizations and foreign NGOs, including that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

According to a ministry statement, the groups "were expelled after they were found to be in breach of the current legislation of the Russian Federation."

Replying to this move by Russia, secretary-general of Amnesty International Agnes Callamard said, "Amnesty's closing down in Russia is only the latest in a long list of organizations that have been punished for defending human rights and speaking the truth to the Russian authorities."

"In a country where scores of activists and dissidents have been imprisoned, killed, or exiled, where independent media has been smeared, blocked, or forced to self-censor, and where civil society organizations have been outlawed or liquidated, you must be doing something right if the Kremlin tries to shut you up," she continued.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations.

In response to Russia's operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.