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Russia Pressures Opposition
News Bytes 06/2/2021 12 Comments

Russian authorities are ramping up the pressure on those who disagree with them. The government has already arrested one opposition activist and raided several others’ homes. The push aims to quiet dissent ahead of a September election. But with every grounded flight, kidnapping, and arrest associated with the Russia government, the world sees further proof of the truth of Proverbs 29:2: “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

Andrei Pivovarov was the head of the former Open Russia movement. He was pulled off a Warsaw-bound plane at St. Petersburg’s airport just before takeoff late Monday. He was being taken to Krasnodar in southern Russia yesterday as part of a criminal probe.

Also on Tuesday, police raided the home of opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov. The former lawmaker hoped to run for parliament in September. At least two of Gudkov’s associates also had their homes searched.

The actions are part of a multi-pronged Russian government attack on opposition. Most analysts believe the crackdown is part of the authorities’ efforts to prevent anyone from mounting a challenge to the Kremlin-backed United Russia party in the September 19 parliamentary election. United Russia’s popularity has waned amid the nation’s recent economic woes—so the government is trying other tactics.

Last week, Pivovarov shut down Open Russia, hoping to protect its members from prosecution. The closure came after Russian authorities designated Open Russia as “undesirable.”

The government has already outlawed more than 30 groups under a 2015 law that makes membership in “undesirable” organizations a criminal offense. Another bill now in the works will increase the punishment for members of those groups.

Pivovarov’s lawyers posted a letter Tuesday on Instagram. In it, the jailed leader said, “There is no cause for joy, but I don’t feel despondent.” He added: “There is a plan to put any people with a different view under arrest, but such people already are the majority.”

The lawyers say Russian authorities filed the charges against Pivovarov after he declared Open Russia’s closure.

Natalia Zviagina, the director of Amnesty International’s Moscow office, says, “The Russian authorities must end reprisals against their political opponents and other critical voices in the country.”

In March, police briefly detained about 200 participants of a meeting of municipal council members that Open Russia helped organize.

Putin’s most determined political foe, Alexei Navalny, was arrested in January upon his return from Germany. He had spent five months there recovering from a poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. The government sentenced him to two and a half years in prison in February. (See Navalny Re-arrested.)

In April, Navalny went on a 24-day hunger strike to protest the lack of medical treatment in prison. He ended the strike last month after getting the medical attention he demanded.

On Monday, he asked a court to halt the hourly night-time checks in his cell. He argues the checks “effectively amount to torture,” telling the judge that “you would go mad in a week” if subjected to such regular wake-ups.

With Navalny in prison, prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to label his Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his network of regional offices as extremist groups. At the same time, officials are proposing another bill to bar members, donors, and supporters of extremist groups from seeking public office. That measure would keep Navalny’s associates from running for parliament in September. Groaning indeed.

(Andrei Pivovarov is taken from his apartment building after being arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Ruslan Terekhov/SOTA via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment

This seems to be connected with what they did when they were the Soviet Union... arrest people, arrest people, arrest people. That is why America is so great because we have the right to free speech. There in Russia, they just get arrested for it. But the people are doing right and trying to stand up against the governmnet.

2nd comment

Yup. exactly. Gee, let's quiet the protests by arresting more big people who the common voters like. What a good way to stop the opposition. (just to be clear, that was sarcasm)

@ Micah D

I know you kind of have to specify if your going to be sarcastic cause nobody gets it anymore! which is kind of sad cause its so fun to use, but if someone doesn't get then it just ruins it.

Don’t worry I got it

Don’t worry I got it

Search for Sargent cooper

Does anyone else watch RCH (real city heros) they just cam out with a trailer for part 4 of Sargent cooper



Sorry it’s actually sergeant

Sorry it’s actually sergeant


I know, right?? You try to be sarcastic about stuff like
"I'm SO GLAD they're arresting these guys that are DEFINITELY being TERRIBLE people"
And then some people would be like "Oh, yeah. You're absolutely right."
It's sometimes funny tho, because my little brother sometimes doesn't get sarcasm, so I'll be sarcastic, and he'll be like, "Wait... WHAT??? Really?"


Today is the second day of #SamePageSummer! It's a Bible Reading Challenge for the summer! A good thing about it is if you've missed a day or two (or three or four or five.... or twenty-three) you can just jump in because the point is that we're all on the same page of the Bible! Yesterday was John 1-4 and today is John 5-8. If you want the plan, go to #SamePageSummer on Instagram or Facebook and you can get a printout! Or I can tell y'all each day, but that won't be as reliable. :) Please think about joining, it's a great way to get into the habit of reading the Bible every day!

@ Addie

That sounds fun, but I don't have Instagram or Facebook. Personally, I'm never getting any of that stuff. :)


I don't have Instagram or Facebook either. This is the only social media-ish thing I have. My mom found it on Instagram because she follows the Wilsons. (Doug Wilson, Nancy Wilson, ND Wilson, Rachel Jankovic, and Rebekah Merkle.) (All really smart and great people.) (They aren't afraid to share their opinion, but luckily they're great at backing up their reasons with proof) (I'm looking at going to the college that they founded, by the way.) (Their church started the SamePageSummer Bible Challenge)

@ Addie

Yeah, same. This is as close as I'll ever get to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. :)

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