The Voice of America reported about increasing Putin's crimes in suppression of basic freedoms in an article entitled "Analysts See Freedom of Speech in Russia Slowly Eroding". The article reads:
"James Nixey, analyst at the Royal Institute of International Relations, a think tank known as Chatham House, spoke about freedom of speech in Moscow:
"James Nixey is an analyst with the Royal Institute for International Affairs, the think-tank known as Chatham House. He offers a definition of free speech-Moscow style.
"Criticism is allowed. However, when it is too widely publicized or when it is too personal, then it is not allowed. When the criticism is of the president himself in particular, when it is of his personal wealth, for example, or corruption aspects, or criminal aspects high up within the regime, then the state begins to crack down. So in other words there are limits", said Nixey.
Nixey says Russia under the leadership of President Putin, a former KGB officer, is veering toward the old Soviet style of governance.
"He's been in power for 13 years (wasted years - KC) now and Russia isn't really changing, insofar as it's not becoming a more pluralistic society," said the analyst. "It's not becoming part of the West and it's in some ways retrenching back into the Soviet Union. It's creating its own structures within that post-Soviet space so it very much fits in with Putin's idea as a Eurasianist, if you like - somebody who believes in the value of the Soviet Union space as a continued area".
Nixey says the outcome of the case will encourage the Russian government to further prosecute political dissent.
"The extent to which I think some of those opposition leaders' freedom to remain at large will remain is now open to question. It is probable that the current 'Pussy Riot' trial will simply harden the authorities' resolve in believing that they can get away with fairly arbitrary incarcerations of critical individuals", he said.
Susan Larsen, who lectures on Russian culture at the University of Cambridge, thinks Putin's government is trying to tighten its grip on power through an alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church.
"The, what you could call the Putinocracy, has been manipulating the laws in order to maintain its grip on power," she said. "And part of that attempt to maintain a grip on power is through alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church. This is just the visible tip of an iceberg of rapidly increasing repression and clamp-down on many different forms of political activity."
Department of Monitoring