The last few months have seen unprecedented repression in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, with a wave of arrests and disappearances among Kremlin critics and international alarm over the deteriorating health of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. At the same time, Russian troops are massing on the border with Ukraine, sending Western countries scrambling to figure out Moscow’s intentions. Those developments are playing out ahead of parliamentary elections set for September, amid the government’s dismal response to the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting public opinion ratings for the Kremlin’s United Russia party. The leading opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza joins Jonathan and Greg to explain what’s taking place in Russia, priorities for the opposition and what Western countries must do to address Putin’s mounting threat.


The Cable is a production of ICWA and the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group.

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Russian opposition politician

Chair, Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom




Executive Director, Institute of Current World Affairs

Journalist, author of Russians: The People Behind the Power



Senior Fellow and Director of Democracy Initiatives, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Former Deputy Assistant Administrator, Europe and Eurasia Bureau, US Agency for International Development


The Cable is produced by Rebecca Picard



Top photo credit: Don Simon, Wikimedia Commons