Sunday, November 26, 2023

In Harbinger of Worse to Come Elsewhere, Russian Siloviki Step Up Pressure on KBR Scholars and Activists

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 24 – For more than a year, Russian siloviki have been putting pressure both directly and via the Internet on a group of scholars in Kabardino-Balkaria for their outspoken criticism of Moscow policies ( and

            Now that pressure has increased, prompting the scholars to issue a new appeal, one that has attracted the attention of the Memorial Center ( and

            Not only are the scholars themselves being constantly called in for questioning about their motives and contacts, but they are being subject to searches in their homes and to Internet and other media attacks on their motives. This new wave of attacks is important not only in its own right but because what it presages is likely to happen elsewhere in the Russian Federation.

            In the past, with disturbing regularity, what Moscow has done in the North Caucasus has been a harbinger of what it then does elsewhere. The center uses the region as a testing ground; and in the absence of attention and protests from elsewhere, it then feels free to do much the same thing first in other non-Russian republics and then in Russian regions and major cities.

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