Today, Russia is more repressive than it has ever been in the post-Soviet era. The authorities crack down on critical media, harass peaceful protesters, engage in smear campaigns against independent groups, and stifle them with fines. Foreign organizations are increasingly banned as “undesirable,” and Russian nationals and organizations are penalized for supposed involvement with them. A new law enables Russian authorities to partially or fully block access to the internet in Russia in the event of undefined “security threats” and gives the government control of the country’s internet traffic, enhancing its capacity to conduct fine-grain censorship. Impunity for egregious abuses by security officials in Chechnya remains rampant.

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