High-Profile Cases

16.03.2021

Navalny Joins the Ranks of Russia’s Religious Dissidents

Ahead of his trial for defaming a war veteran, Alexei Navalny quoted from the bible and confessed that he has become religious, pitting two ideological pillars of the Russian regime against each other: wartime victory and Christianity.
17.02.2021

Why the Kremlin’s Anti-Navalny Strategy Just Might Work

When the government shows that it’s prepared to use violence against peaceful protesters and to lock them up for extended periods, it plays on a preexisting mindset that perhaps protesting won't lead to any actual changes in society.
26.01.2021

Russian Protest in the Age of Online Transparency

The authorities and their tactics—from hoarding taxpayers’ money to the blatant use of excessive force against peaceful protesters—are becoming visible and transparent.
25.01.2021

The New Face of Russian Protest

Saturday’s protests were undeniably anti-regime, anti-elite, and anti-corruption, but not necessarily liberal, pro-Western, and pro-democracy. It’s not surprising that such protests frighten not only the authorities, but also successful members of society: even those who don’t consider themselves supporters of the regime.
20.01.2021

Don’t Look for Political Logic in the Kremlin’s Treatment of Navalny

The Kremlin’s approach to Navalny is a natural by-product of a political regime in which the initiative and locus of most decisionmaking concerning the real opposition or any criticism has shifted to the FSB.
19.01.2021

Putin, Poison, and Self-Inflicted Wounds: Navalny’s Return to Russia

Instead of blackballing Navalny, the Kremlin has turned him into the world’s most famous political prisoner.
5.10.2020

The Kremlin Takes On a Resurrected Navalny

Putin’s spokesman’s vitriolic attack on opposition politician Alexei Navalny—calling him a CIA puppet and accusing him of insulting the president—is a continuation of attempts to marginalize Navalny amid his post-poisoning prominence.
26.08.2020

Navalny’s Poisoning Is the Act of a Sickly Regime

The formation of a “protection services” market is a dangerous trend for the Russian power system. Navalny may have been poisoned by people who believe that the regime is no longer capable of dealing with threats itself.
10.07.2020

Silencing Dissent: Russian Culture on Trial

The Serebrennikov case reveals a split within the Russian elite, and Putin’s refusal to back one side or the other. One part of it wants to re-Sovietize culture and punish artists who do not fit with their conservative agenda, while others continue to value artistic freedom.   
13.12.2019

Moscow Protest Cases Show Public Opinion Can No Longer Be Ignored

Something has obviously changed in the legal system, and that something is the logic of repression. Despite all the skepticism, it seems that public opinion does play a role in the degree of repression in each particular case.
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