(oD) Since 2000, President Vladimir Putin’s regime has rolled back many of the civic freedoms Russians received in the 1990s after seven decades of Communist rule. The government has intimidated and demonized dissenters, and brought most of press under its control. The authorities have relentlessly pressured activists and NGOs that promote human rights, using both legislative and extra-legal measures.
After years of harassing these organizations with cumbersome accounting procedures and audits, the Russian government now requires them to self-identify as “foreign agents” if they receive foreign financial support. Since Russia’s aggressive actions toward Ukraine in 2014, the pressure on human rights NGOs has only increased, as officials and pro-Kremlin activists smear them as a “fifth column” of traitors doing the bidding of malevolent Western powers. […]
Read More © openDemocracy