On Monday, Russian authorities ordered offices of Alexei Navalny, President Putin’s biggest critic, to stop all activity as they wait for a decision to be made on wether or not they should be outlawed as an extremest group. Although the decision has not been made yet, Navalny and his team have been suspended from “spreading information in the media, taking part in elections, using banks or organizing public events.” If they are found as and extremist group, Navalny, his staff, and supporters that were arrested in previous protests will be at risk of criminal persecution. Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director, called this “one of the most serious blows for the rights to freedom of expression and association in Russia’s post-Soviet history.” In my opinion, Zviagina is completely on the right track. By silencing the opposing voices, corruption will continue to happen and possibly even worsen. President Biden has called for the release of Navalny in recent months, however, as we can see nothing has come of it. Although I do think the Biden administration should continue to show their support for Navalny, it is hard to say that anything they do will change the trajectory of what the Russian administration is going to do.

Olivia S.