Staunton, Nov. 25 – In recent weeks, the Kremlin has deployed two additional means of repression, one based on some new realities and a second the restoration of a Russian imperial practice from the past. It is entirely likely that the Russian rulers will expand their use of these techniques in the future, and so it is important to take note of them now.
Grigory Golosov, a professor at St. Petersburg’s European University, points to the first: a three-step method in which the Putin regime identifies a group it doesn’t like, then declares it an international social movement, and then recognizes that group as extremist (polit.ru/articles/konspekty/grigoriy-golosov-o-perspektivnoy-tekhnologii/).
That is exactly what Moscow has done in the case of the LGBT community, and it may apply the same method to feminism, the commentator says.
The second, the taking of hostages of those related to individuals and groups the regime is fighting against, has a long history going back into the tsarist past; but it is now being used against émigré opposition figures who are finding that their relatives who have not left the country are being persecuted and imprisoned (turantoday.com/2023/11/bashkir-hostage-russia.html and topwar.ru/166936-kavkazskoe-amanatstvo-zabytyj-socialnyj-institut.html).
Up to now, this method has been applied most often to relatives of non-Russian activists now abroad; but there is no reason to think that with time, Moscow will use the same tactic against all those who have fled abroad to escape Putin’s repressive regime, especially since ever more Russian officials are denouncing those who “relocated” since the start of the Ukraine war.