Long before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the mass detentions of Russian peace protesters, the Kremlin was already stifling dissent — with choking bureaucracy.

Throughout 2021, the Kremlin tightened the screws on its opponents — including supporters of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny — using a combination of arrests, internet censorship and blacklists. The crackdown accelerated after Russia invaded Ukraine. Now a Reuters data analysis and interviews with dozens of people chart these tactics’ success in eroding civil freedoms.

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