Today, Russia is more repressive than it has ever been in the post-Soviet era. Using a wide range of tools, the state has tightened control over free expression, assembly, and speech, aiming to silence independent critics, including online. With the crackdown on civil society growing increasingly vicious, Kremlin-controlled broadcasters portrayed Western democracies as working to destabilize Russia and the world, urged Russians to mobilize against this threat, and branded dissenting voices as paid agents of the West working against Russia. With the use of draconian legislation, authorities demonized as “foreign agents” over 150 independent groups. More than 30 closed.
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