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07/07/2022
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'Erasing history': Russia shuts down human rights group Memorial International

  • The Supreme Court ruled that Memorial International, which chronicled political repression in Russia, must be liquidated. Russian Memorial International lockedRussian Memorial International locked

Moscow, Dec.28 (Reuters).– Russia's Supreme Court ordered the country's oldest human rights group to disband on Tuesday for breaking a law requiring it to act as "a foreign agent", capping a year of crackdowns on Kremlin critics unseen since the Soviet era.

The closure of Memorial International bookmarks a year in which Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin's top critic, was jailed, his movement banned and many of his allies forced to flee. Moscow says it is simply enforcing laws to thwart extremism and shield the country from what it says is malign foreign influence.

Critics say that Vladimir Putin, in power as president or prime minister since 1999, is turning back the clock to the Soviet era when there was zero tolerance of dissent. The Kremlin, at odds with the West on everything from Ukraine to Syria, says it is impossible to recreate the Soviet Union.

The legal assault on Memorial, which documents and keeps alive the memory of Josef Stalin's 1937-38 "Great Terror" among other episodes, is an attempt to whitewash Soviet Russia's darkest chapters which do not chime with the Kremlin's narrative of a resurgent country with nothing to be ashamed of ...

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