Petrov: "They are telling local elites that... they can arrest anyone"

PONARS Eurasia
13 Jul 2020

(NYTimes) After leaving Russia’s regional leaders to take much of the responsibility and heat for battling the coronavirus pandemic, the Kremlin has sent a blunt message to recently empowered local elites: Don’t even think about challenging the will of President Vladimir V. Putin. In an emphatic blow against a regional leader long viewed as disloyal, masked security officers in camouflage uniforms on Thursday arrested the governor of Khabarovsk Krai, a remote territory in the Russian Far East. [...]

“The very fact that they could not find anything more fresh to accuse him of is a clear signal that this is an act of political repression,” Nikolai Petrov, a political analyst who studies regional politics, said in a telephone interview “They are telling local elites that if they can arrest a sitting governor for crimes going back 15 or 20 years then they can arrest anyone.” [...]

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