Sunday, February 25, 2024

Putin has Used Laws to Repress More People over His Last Term Alone than Khrushchev or Brezhnev did in the Same Way during Similar Periods while in Power, ‘Project Media’ Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 22 – Investigative journalists at the Project Media Group have concluded that over the last six years of Putin’s time in power, “about 116,000 people, not including those charged with interfering with police actions or Covid limitations, suffered from direct repression,” a figure greater than those in similar periods under Khrushchev or Brezhnev.

            The figure of 116,000, the Project Media Group says, includes those subjected to criminal or administrative prosecution” under articles that are in fact political or repressive (  discussed at

            It estimates that just over 5600 people were prosecuted for such “crimes” since 2018. In addition. In addition, there were 5800 charged with resisting Putin’s expanding invasion of Ukraine either by refusing to fight or opposing that war, and another 100,000 detained for taking part in demonstrations not approved in advance by the authorities.

            Under Khrushchev between 1956 and 1961, there were only 4800 people charged for analogous “crimes;” and under Brezhnev between 1968 and 1973, there were just 1057. But of course, Project acknowledges, there were other forms of repression and the death penalty, conditions making any real compilation and comparison virtually impossible.

            The two Soviet leaders used a variety of extra-legal means to repress people. Putin does as well, including murder as in the case of Aleksey Navalny. But because emigration is an option, the numbers of such actions  under the Russian president are likely far smaller than under the two Soviet leaders with whom Project Media drew these comparisons.



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