By Paul Goble
Newly released figures show that only about ten percent of the roughly 200,000 non-governmental organizations registered with the state are in fact actually functioning but also that three percent of the total number get foreign funding (regnum.ru/news/society/2356192.html and iq.hse.ru/news/212286708.html).
Combining those figures which were compiled respectively by the Social Chamber and the Higher School of Economics and which because of the vagaries of registration must be treated with caution suggests that approximately 30 percent of the Russian NGOs that are actually in operation are receiving support from abroad.
These numbers highlight not only the weakness of Russian civil society in this regard but also and especially the dangers inherent in Vladimir Putin’s ongoing campaign to label all groups receiving funding from abroad “foreign agents,” an effort that because there are so many in this category further chills public life in the Russian Federation.
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