During the 1990s, many Russian non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) secured foreign funding and participated in transnational advocacy networks. However, in the early 2000s, Russian authorities attempted to regain control over foreign-funded NGOs’ activities, presenting these NGOs as national security threats. The 2012 Russian Foreign Agents Law and the resulting 2018 challenge before the European Court of Human Rights reflect contemporary Russian political rhetoric that views Western governments and their agents, including NGOs, as threats to Russian sovereignty and national security. However, legal challenges also de-politicize the issues by forcing all parties into the framework of legal argument, reflecting the decline of political pluralism in Russia. Revitalizing Russia’s civil and political landscapes requires a thorough redefinition of national security, one that includes NGOs participating in transnational advocacy networks as partners in providing security.



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