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Russian TV celebrity Ksenia Sobchak, an outspoken critic of Mr Putin, was interrogated by police (photo: dpa)

Will Putin’s new tactics against the opposition prove counter-productive?

The violent crackdown on protestors that took place on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as president has not yet been repeated. In the second in the series on Mr Putin’s return to the Kremlin and the new geopolitical landscape in Russia, we examine whether the Russian authorities’ alternate tactics of intimidation and harassment will work in the long term.

ON the eve of Vladimir Putin’s third inauguration as President of the Russian Federation on May 6, 2012, some 20,000 people gathered for a sanctioned rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square. The protest was an important watershed in the current wave of mass protests against his return to the Kremlin.

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
There have been rumours that prominent activists could now be charged with crimes that lead to several years’ imprisonment
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