Russia’s activists and independent journalists face new wave of crackdowns
Since a nationwide vote, which wrapped up July 1, paved the way for President Vladimir Putin to potentially stay in power until 2036, several high-profile journalists, politicians and activists have been arrested or convicted. The actions are widely seen as a message from Putin’s powerful security agencies on the steep cost of dissent.
To Verzilov, also part of the performance art activist group Pussy Riot, those three weeks were disturbing, irritating, funny and terrifying, all at once.
In 2018, Verzilov survived what he believes to have been a poisoning attempt by security agencies. This time around, he claims, authorities were ordered to pin something — anything — on him. He faces trial in coming weeks on the obscure charge of failing to declare a foreign passport.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin has no influence over court cases. But the list of Putin critics seized in the latest crackdowns continues to grow.
Prominent journalist Ivan Safronov, a specialist in military …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]