NGOs are Skeptical of Russia’s New President

Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2008.

Lyudmila Kuzmina, leader of an election watchdog NGO, is weary about the comment made by Dmitry Medvedev stating, “the role of civil society in Russia is indispensable.”

Kuzmina criticized Russian government officials over the radio last spring.  Ever since then, her computer has been tampered with and she has been blacklisted by the local press.

The number of NGOs in Russia has decreased from 650,000 during the earlier years of Putin’s presidency, to roughly 277,000 in the present. The is mainly influenced by a recent law that allows the Russian government to shutdown NGOs if they are perceived to be a threat the country’s sovereignty. 

NGOs are experiencing obstacles to their work if they are either outspoken critics of Russian authorities or receive funds from the west.

To read the article titled, “Hobbled NGOs wary of Medvedev,” click here.

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