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Spate of Raids, Arrests in Russia Spurs Fears of Opposition Crackdown

Since President Putin won a plebiscite that could prolong his power for years to come, journalists have been detained, the homes of critics raided and a popular governor has been arrested

Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, an independent political analysis firm, said authorities had been reluctant to take any repressive or retaliatory action while Russians were still enduring lockdown measures, or during preparations for the referendum.

“But after the vote, the regime has become less cautious,” Ms. Stanovaya said. “There is a common sentiment among senior officials that it’s a victory. You feel like you’ve just crushed your enemies and your enemies are weak and vulnerable. The authorities decided that now the vote has passed, they have a free hand. They will try to tighten the screws.”

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