An activist kicks the shields of the military police officers during a demonstration in Iguala, Guerrero, January 12, 2015.
Jorge Dan Lopez / Courtesy Reuters

When the activist Boris Nemtsov was murdered steps from the Kremlin just before a large march he helped to organize, he joined a long list of human rights activists, journalists, and lawyers who ultimately sacrificed their lives for the illusive ideal of an open Russia. Their brave effort has only gotten tougher with each passing year; since Russian President Vladimir Putin first came to power in the early 2000s, the space for civil society has been shrinking. Although the violence in Russia that accompanies it is an extreme form, the pressures on civil society are by no means just a

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