MOSCOW — They’ve banned some synthetic lace lingerie, and now they’re taking aim at high-heel shoes. They’ve made it unlawful to use foul language on stage, and they’re mulling a ban on mixing foreign words into Russian sentences. Protesting in the streets can get you five years in prison; so can sending certain retweets.
Russian leaders have drastically ramped up their crackdown on freedom of expression in recent weeks, with an avalanche of restrictions on what people can do, wear, say, and where they can do it. The measures are in turns sinister, xenophobic, patently unenforceable, and absurd.