As the space for debate in Moscow shrinks, the options for the country’s future look ever narrower.
The news and the invitation were waiting for me, both, when I got off the plane from London to Moscow. I saw the invitation first—from a long-time colleague, to attend a workshop on the future of Russian politics later this month at Memorial, the venerable Russian historical society and human rights organization. I saw the news two hours later: 17 days after that workshop, Russia’s High Court will hold a hearing on the government’s demand that Memorial be liquidated.
That is the condition of life in Russia these days: two hours in which an invitation takes on a funerary pallor, 17 days in which the world becomes immeasurably smaller. Rarely has the distance between today and tomorrow been so great and so fraught as it is now.
Putin's intolerance of independent rights groups extends even to Memorial, which documents Soviet atrocities. http://t.co/Hk6LSRIdho— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) October 18, 2014
Tweet from Ken Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.