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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Russian Repression Rises Again

In a throwback to Stalin’s repressive regime of 1937, the Russian Federation passed a law on Friday in a rapid-fire manner.  Turns out that President Putin’s people have had enough of alleged  election fraud and strong-arm tactics, dissenters dissing his lame attempts at leading, so the president retaliated by signing a law sharply increasing fines (from 1,000 rubles to 300,000 rubles) for those assembling without permission.

While his own human rights council protested that this was an unconstitutional infringment on free assembly, the opposition, made up of mostly middle class younger adults, planned a protest rally and march for today, Tuesday, June 11th.  Not surprisingly, protest leaders had their apartments searched in surprise raids over the weekend, many items being seized and some of the raids lasting over 12 hours, along with the subjects being summoned to appear at police headquarters… at the exact time of the planned rally.

The raw reality of the “New Russia” is starting to dawn.  After the elections, protesters from the May 6th demonstration were beaten and detained by the hundreds.  After the latest law was passed, fines for lack of compliance will increase by many times their former amounts in some cases.  Certain cities’ residents have taken to “strolling” the streets, not rallying per se, but holding up anti-Putin messages as they walk en masse.

Kind of creative.

There’s really no other way.  Unless the people rise up against the increasing repression, it will only get worse.  Remember Comrade Vova (Vladimir Putin’s nickname) was head of the KGB.  If the players are the same, how can the regime be different from Communist times?

Unfortunately, further crackdowns are likely to come, possibly in terms of communication.  Perhaps the Russian Government will limit or shut down access to the internet, now used to rapidly transmit information among dissenters.  They’ve referred to this possibility in the past (http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/free-russian-elections/) and we wrote about it months ago.

More than six months ago, we answered questions about the safety of any planned travel to Russia.  These tips would still apply, unless it turns very violent overnight: http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/is-it-safe-to-travel-to-russia/.

Read the handwriting on the wall.  It’s becoming worse in Russia in terms of freedom of speech, religion, press (hundreds of journalists murdered or disappeared over the last decade), and now assembly.

Rise up, Russians, and preserve your ever-diminishing rights.  We stand with you.  Happy Russia Day!

 

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