Russia: Anatomy of a Crackdown

Russia is undergoing the sharpest crackdown on the opposition in almost twenty years. Has Putin defeated the opposition? And how far can he go without triggering a backlash?

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Guests

Ben Judah, Author of “Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin”

Kadri Liik, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Chaired by

Alec Russell, News Editor, Financial Times

Russia is undergoing the sharpest crackdown on the opposition in almost twenty years. The Putin regime has in the past year taken a harsher stand on dissent. The legal framework for authoritarian rule has been rolled out. Tentative moves to finance the protest movement from the business community have been snapped. Over a dozen protestors have been charged with “fermenting mass unrest” and are facing potentially years in jail. Meanwhile, Alexey Navalny – the hero of the opposition – is facing trial and up to a decade in prison. Has the system defeated the opposition? How far will the Kremlin go?  And how far can it go without triggering a backlash?

Ben Judah is the Author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin. He is a visiting fellow at the European Stability Initiative and he previously worked as aPolicy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He was a reporter based in Moscow with Reuters. His reporting from across the former Soviet Union –  including on the Georgian War and the Kyrgyz revolution of 2010 – has also featured in publications including the Financial Times, The Economist, Prospect, Standpoint and Foreign Policy.

Kadri Liik is a Senior Policy Fellow and head of ECFR’s Wider Europe programme. Kadri was director of the International Centre for Defence Studies in Estonia, where she also worked as director of the Centre’s Lennart Meri Conference. Previously, Kadri worked as a Moscow correspondent for several Estonian daily papers.

Alec Russell is News Editor at the Financial Times. Previously he worked as Comment and Analysis Editor and World News Editor for the newspaper. He has won several awards for his journalism and written three books.