The article assesses civil society in Putin’s Russia through the lens of the small social movement working against gender violence. Based on questionnaires distributed to movement organizations in 2008–2009, we find significant retrenchment among the NGO segment of the movement, adding evidence to the claim of Russia’s turn toward authoritarianism. However, this innovative, midlevel analysis–not the typical society-wide surveys nor the small number participant observation–also shows that the women’s crisis center movement has made some in-roads in transforming the state, revealing that some democratic opportunities remain at the local level.

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