Among the many Russians who have protested against the war in Ukraine was 26-year-old Muscovite Aleksandra Kaluzhskikh, who was arrested earlier this month. She managed to record her interrogation while she was being beaten and sexually humiliated by police shouting expletives. ‘Look at the schmuck,’ one of her interrogators said, as Kaluzhskikh sighed and sobbed. ‘A marginal. What, you think they’ll do something to us for this [beating her]? Putin told us: kill them… That’s it! Putin is on our side. You are enemies of Russia. You are enemies of the people. I can kill you, and that’s it. And that’ll do it. They’ll give us a bonus for it.’
As I listened to this appalling 11-minute recording, I thought of precedents.