Benoit Tessier / Reuters

Culture Clash

Putin's Clampdown on Art, Film, and Dissent

Over a year and a half has passed since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Since then, Russia has waged a campaign of aggression against Kiev and, despite Western economic and political pressure on Moscow, Moscow has not changed its foreign policy stripes. Although many have focused on what Russia has done internationally, however, too few have paid attention to what has happened inside Russia, where President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarianism has become extreme. Putin’s reputation as a champion against a supposedly predatory West has solidified among the public, and hard-liners within Putin’s circle—the siloviki (men of …

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