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The Big Chill: Critics Say Kremlin Waging A War On Ideas

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

It's not a great time to be a freethinker in Russia.

Offending somebody's religious sensibilities could get you prosecuted according to legislation signed this weekend by President Vladimir Putin. Criticizing the wrong person with a snarky comment on a social network could run afoul of a vaguely worded law criminalizing online defamation. And lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists need to be mindful of a newly enacted federal law prohibiting "homosexual propaganda" as well as similar legislation enacted in many Russian regions.

And pretty soon, criticizing those who fought against Nazi Germany could be a crime punishable with stiff fines and jail terms.

The recent spate of legislation has fostered a big intellectual chill and created what the Council of Europe, in a recent report, called a "generalized climate of fear" across the country.

To read the full story

RFE/RL correspondent Tom Balmforth and RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Mikhail Sokolov contributed to this story from Moscow. RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service correspondent Alsu Kurmasheva contributed from Prague

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

The Big Chill: Critics Say Kremlin Waging A War On Ideas

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