Kremlin Hammers NGO Activists

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief
Last Modified: 01:42 AM EDT, 22 July 2012

Soviet Flag, Photo by Malcolm MurrayTensions between Washington and the Kremlin have escalated over the past eighteen months largely because Russia has aligned with China to defeat the United Nations Security Council’s efforts to institute punitive sanctions against Syria.

The standoff recalls the stance of the U.S. and USSR during the Cold War era which lasted from 1947-1991. During this period the United States, NATO, and other nations joined together in opposition of communist Soviet Union, its allies and satellite states.

Despite the fact that Russia enacted democratic governance in 1993 its election cycles continue to be plagued with accusations of corruption. Now, with the approval of a new law which labels non-governmental organizations receiving financial support from abroad as “foreign agents,” Russia is poised on the precipice of totalitarianism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a law which will tighten controls on civil rights groups funded from abroad, the his press office said on Saturday, a step opponents say is part of a campaign to suppress dissent.

The law, which was cleared by the upper house of parliament earlier in July, will force non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaging in “political activity” to register with the Justice Ministry as “foreign agents” and to file a report to officials every quarter. (Source: Forbes)

Opponents of the law believe that President Putin signed the bill with the full knowledge that its real intent is to silence organizations and individuals critical of his leadership. Though the law broadly applies to all NGOs, it specifically targets NGOs engaging in political activities.

Less than a month prior, President Putin signed another ‘undemocratic’ bill which prohibits people participating in unauthorized demonstrations, and in the case where these demonstrations were organized by an NGO or other organization, huge fines can be levied.

Many Russian NGOs have stated that they will not comply with new law, and according to reports, the Moscow Helsinki Group leader Lyudmila Alexeyeva said her group will turn down foreign funding in an attempt to work around the law.

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About Ayanna Nahmias

Ayanna Nahmias was interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide program titled 'The State We’re In,' about her life in Africa and her determination to transcend her past. She started the Nahmias Cipher Report to provide information to readers about life in emerging economies, and to provide alternative insight into the challenges faced by women and children living in these countries. The blog features stories from around the world to inspire other people to persevere and triumph in the face of great adversity. She blogs about current events in emerging economies, international politics, human rights abuses, women’s rights and child advocacy.

View all posts by Ayanna Nahmias

4 Comments on “Kremlin Hammers NGO Activists”

  1. Russel Ray Photos Says:

    Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!


  2. Lada Ray Says:

    It is no secret that the Western agenda towards Russia and China has not changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The USA wants to see weak Russia however you look at it. Read the Grand Chess Board by Zbignev Brzezinski. And the best way to weaken the country is from the inside.

    This law was signed by Putin after many years of putting up with Western financed NGOs, which promote US interests in the country at the expense of Russian interests. Or did you think that only USA is allowed to have its interests?

    NGOs meanwhile have been inciting hatred and violence and calling for a “revolution,” while all simple Russians want and need is to have a peaceful, stable life and evolution – not revolution.

    Haven’t they had enough of disruptions, wars and turmoils in the 20th century? Anyone, who is a friend of Russia, or is at least unbiased, will see that. Of course, those who aren’t friends would want as much disruption as possible.

    Putin did the right thing to protect his country, which is still recovering from the collapse of USSR and the 1990s aftermath, and the significant majority of the population is clearly on his side!

    For well-informed news coverage about events in Russia and around the world, read or watch RT (Russia Today) and RT America.


    • Ayanna Nahmias Says:

      Thank you so much for this informative and well articulated comment.

      Your assessment of RT is correct and I have utilized their videos to add depth and alternative insight to post about Israel and other Middle Eastern nations.

      It is true that America has a long and complicated relationship with Russia. You are also correct in stating that American’s have a propensity to pejoratively view other nations and cultures. This is often as a consequence of evaluating these nations through the lens of the American experience.

      Putin and other leaders have every right to govern their nations as they see fit, or until their citizens demand change either peacefully or by force.

      Thanks for taking the time to pull our proverbial coat tails, and for challenging readers to go beyond the headlines.


      • Lada Ray Says:

        You are welcome. Glad you see it this way. Perhaps there is still hope that one day the situation will change.


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