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European Journal

Russia: Civil rights activists under pressure

The Russian government is taking an increasingly hard line against NGOs. The crackdown has now hit two prestigious institutes.

They're the most severe sanctions the Russian justice ministry has carried out under the controversial Russian foreign agent law thus far. First Russian special units raided the offices of prominent human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov and forcibly evicted the staff. Then Golos, Russia's only independent election watchdog, was forced to cease work for six months. The two high-profile NGOs had refused to register as foreign agents under the new law, fearing they would be branded as spies.