This article is from Democracy Digest:
The poisoning of my friend Aleksei Navalny feels like a terrible instance of déjà vu, writes Nadya Tolokonnikova (above), since it was less than two years ago that we were working with the same activists to arrange the same flight to the same hospital in Germany to evacuate and treat the father of my child, Pyotr, when he was unconscious from poisoning.
Three fellow dissidents whom I’ve known personally have been murdered (Boris Nemtsov (right), Anastasia Baburova, Stanislav Markelov) and two beaten almost to death (Mikhail Beketov and Oleg Kashin). I myself was sent to prison for two years just for singing a song, and many, many activists in my country have been sentenced to more time and suffered far worse fates, notes Tolokonnikova, a founder of Pussy Riot.
Our president has only just recently had the law changed so that he can stay in power until 2036, but his program of repression didn’t start out this blatantly, she writes for The Times:
These things happen in pieces, bit by bit, small acts. And each one may even seem relatively benign at first, perhaps bad, but not fatal. You get angry, maybe you speak out, but you get on with your life. The promise of our democracy was chipped away in pieces, one by one: corrupt cronies appointed, presidential orders issued, actions taken, laws passed, votes rigged. It happens slowly, intermittently; sometimes we couldn’t see how steadily. Autocracy crept in, like the coward it is.
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