Russia has forged an informal network of authoritarian-minded states in Eurasia dedicated to silencing dissenters living in exile. A leading expert on Eurasian affairs has dubbed this coalition as the “Repressintern.”
The expert, Mark Galeotti, a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague, writing in a paper titled RepressIntern: Russian Security Cooperation with Fellow Authoritarians, asserts that an “Axis of Repression” has emerged in recent years, binding Russia and Belarus to Central Asia, via Azerbaijan. The term Repressintern is a play on the Communist International, or Comintern, the Moscow-dominated organization that worked from 1919-43 to promote global revolution.
The Repressintern, in Galeotti’s view, is chiefly designed to help the Kremlin reassert its influence across Eurasia. To achieve this aim, Russia has utilized its vast security and intelligence apparatus to help friendly authoritarian leaderships solidify their respective grasps on power by hounding dissenters wherever they may live .
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