Wed, 27 Jan 2021

Prominent former defense reporter Ivan Safronov has been arrested and jailed in Moscow on a charge of treason, accused of passing state secrets to a NATO country that his lawyer says is the Czech Republic. Safronov denies the allegation, and former colleagues say it's absurd. Here's a look at possible motives and meanings behind the latest prosecution to rock Russia.

After The Vote

Safronov was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on July 7, five days after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on amendments to the constitution, including one that allows him to seek two more six-year terms in office after his current term expires in 2024.

As Russians cast ballots in a weeklong vote on the amendments whose result was never in doubt due to Putin's dominance and the Kremlin's control over political levers nationwide, several analysts predicted the changes would strengthen the hand of Russia's already powerful security establishment -- the 'siloviki' -- and leave everyone else under increased risk of arbitrary prosecution, persecution, and the use of force by the authorities.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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