Sam Greene on his blog:
By the summer of 2019, it should have been clear that this prediction was wrong. The Kremlin ramped up arrests and street violence (albeit not to American levels on the latter count), culminating in the arrest of some 11,000 people in January 2021. Since then, they have moved to bar autonomous political activity writ large: Navalny is in jail, his organizations are on the verge of being declared ‘extremist‘, media outlets and even individual journalists are declared “foreign agents” and largely deprived of income, and the lawyers who stand up to all of this in court are — for the first time anyone can remember — themselves subject to prosecution.
Why did I get this wrong? My only explanation is that I misunderstood the cost-benefit analysis from the Kremlin’s point of view.
Interesting perspective on the Kremlin’s much harder line against the opposition.