Editor’s note: This is one of a series of daily articles we will be publishing in the run-up to the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th. See the rest of our coverage
TANKS DID put a stop to Grigory Sverdlin’s career in the end—but not in the way he expected. In 2017 Mr Sverdlin, who until recently ran one of Russia’s largest and oldest charities, the Shelter, was talking to a local official in St Petersburg about homelessness in the city. It was clear that the activism of groups like his, and civil society more generally, alarmed the authorities. “If you don’t keep quiet, we will run you over with a tank,” the bureaucrat warned him.