- Opposition in Russia: illegal and extremely dangerous
- High-profile critics face harassment, detainment, and worse
- Invasion of Ukraine intensifies crackdown on dissent
In the land of the bear, speaking up against the big boss ain't no walk in the park. In fact, it's downright risky business. Political gurus are saying that opposing the Kremlin and big man Putin is about as close to "extremely dangerous" as it gets.
Anton Barbashin, a Russian political smarty-pants, says being an anti-war politician in Russia is pretty much a no-go. Most opposition leaders are either behind bars, living under restrictions, or hightailing it out of the country. Opposition ain't dead, but it's definitely illegal, my friends.
Russian opposition figures have always had it rough, but things have only gotten crazier in recent years. People have been harassed, detained, vanished, or imprisoned. Some even think the state tried to poison them, while others have met their ends in some sketchy ways. The Kremlin, of course, denies any involvement.
The world took notice when Alexei Navalny, a top Kremlin critic, was poisoned in 2020. The Kremlin said they had nothing to do with it, but after recovering in Germany, Navalny was thrown in prison for nine years on some pretty questionable charges.
Political analysts think the invasion of Ukraine has made things even worse for Russian opposition figures. With the potential for domestic unrest, Putin's regime has ditched any pretense of political pluralism and gone full-on authoritarian. It's a tough time to be a critic of the Kremlin, no matter who you are or where you come from.
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