Russia’s Silenced Opposition

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Putin critic and political icon Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to nine years in prison. It's another blow to the country’s civil society.

  • Alexey Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s fiercest political opponent, was convicted of fraud and contempt of court, and will be sent to a penal colony. Human rights activists call the case a judicial sham.
  • The crackdown on Navalny and his team is part of a broader state campaign against opposition figures and NGOs in Russia. Another recent victim was the human rights organization Memorial.
  • Navalny’s long prison sentence is a further blow to Russia’s already weakened opposition. He has supported the small but persistent anti-war movement active in larger Russian cities.
  • Frustrated by the crackdown on civil society, a growing number of young Russians are abandoning the country. A trade association estimates that 100.000 IT workers will leave within weeks.
  • For those who stay, it is becoming harder to access information beyond state propaganda, as independent media outlets have been shut down. Many rely on technical loopholes.
  • Employees refusing to comply with the official version of events in Ukraine are being driven out of their jobs. Thousands of people are therefore forced to leave for economic reasons.
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