Two prominent opposition figures have been arrested in Russia this week. In addition, two independent online magazines said they would close down.
In Russia the position of critical voices has become even narrower this week with the arrest of prominent opposition figures, two independent communications announcing the cessation of activities and the launch of new bills.
The authorities tightened their grip when the country’s best-known opposition politician Alexei Navalnyi returned to Russia at the beginning of the year. Activists have been arrested and imprisoned, and all kinds of pressure against critical voices have intensified.
Many experts have explained this week’s excerpts from the fall Duma elections, which are set to clear the playing field before. Others expect the persecution to intensify even after them.
On Monday police arrested a former leader of the Open Russia in St. Petersburg Andrei Pivovarov From a plane leaving for Poland.
Russia was open to the former oligarch To Mikhail Khodorkovsky an affiliated organization that recently ceased operations to protect its members. Pivovarov is suspected of violating the law on “unwanted” organizations. In part, it’s about his Facebook update released in 2020.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested an opposition politician and former MP Dmitry Gudkov. His criminal suspicion is linked to alleged rent ambiguities, but on Thursday authorities opened a new criminal investigation into the cartridges found in the home search.
Thursday night Gudkov’s wife Valeria Gudkova unexpectedly announced that the authorities would release Gudkov without charge. However, Aunt Gudkov, who was arrested at the same time, was still imprisoned.
Analysts speculated that the aunt would block Gudkov’s candidacy in the Duma elections in the evening. The online magazine Projekt reported earlier on Thursday that Gudkov’s arrest was due to a strong opinion poll in the constituency where he intended to run.
Thursday while the online magazine Vtimes announced that it was closing down. The magazine, which began operations last year, was founded by former editors of the financial newspaper Vedomost when the magazine’s editor-in-chief was changed to obedience to the Kremlin.
Last month, the authorities added the magazine as a background actor to the list of foreign agents. The delivery saidthat it expelled not only funders and whistleblowers, but also sources and interviewees.
The prestigious news site News.ru announced that it would cease operations on Monday. According to large whistleblowers began to map it out in 2014, “and the rest began to fear this year”.
Multi expects the situation to worsen.
“I took away and destroyed all my old phones, for safety’s sake I also destroyed all my old notes. Address books. I also went through my library, which they could grab. The backpack is packed, ”the opposition figure Jevgeni Roizman said online magazine Znak on Wednesday.
Opinion polling center of the Levada Center measurement published in April according to 52 percent of Russians are afraid of a “return of persecution”. A year ago, the share was 39 percent.
Director of R.Politik, an incubator Tatjana Stanovaja stated at the Telegram on Monday that it is no longer just the Navalny and Khodorkovsky organizations that will be targeted.
“The policy of the Russian state to defeat the opposition outside the system is now turning into an all-encompassing campaign targeting all expressions of anti-regime moods,” Stanovaya estimates.