Vladimir Putin recently claimed victory as Russia’s president despite extensive evidence that the “election” was illegitimate in a number of ways. His repression, including evidence of State-ordered assassinations and assassination attempts, and his manipulation of Russia’s legal systems and institutions seems to assure him power – and impunity.

Putin’s efforts to consolidate that power have included eliminating most political opposition and civil society organizations and forcing independent media to shut down or move their operations into exile. The recent death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a remote prison camp exemplified the threats to anyone deemed critical of the Kremlin.

The long arm of the Kremlin also extends far beyond its borders. In addition to the now decade-long war on Ukraine, which escalated into a full-scale invasion in February 2022, and military interventions in the Middle East and Africa, Russian exiles are also not immune from Putin’s wrath.

Just Security’s Washington Senior Editor Viola Gienger recently interviewed Gleb Bogush, a Russian lawyer and expert on international criminal law who fled Russia in 2022.

Gleb is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center of Excellence for International Courts of the University of Copenhagen. He is also a member of the Cologne-Bonn Academy in Exile (CBA). Before 20222, he was an Associate Professor of International Law at the Moscow State University and HSE University in Russia, also known as the Higher School of Economics.

This conversation took place a day before the March 22 terrorist attack on a Moscow concert hall that killed more than 130 people.

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