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Russia moves to silence civil society and its 'undesirable' contacts

Under a new law, Russian NGOs could face prosecution for communication with 'undesirable' groups based abroad – groups like Transparency International, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/AP

Russia's largest grassroots election watchdog, Golos, has been almost driven out of existence by a law passed three years ago that saddled it with a "foreign agent" label – which connotes "spy" in Russian. Since then, the organization has been subject of an ongoing wave of tax and criminal investigations, including an official ban on carrying out its primary mission of monitoring elections.