Vladimir Putin is presiding over the worst era for Russian human rights since the Soviet Union, according to Amnesty and Human Rights Watch.
Mr Putin stands accused of bringing in laws to stifle criticism of his regime and adapting existing laws to silence dissent.
"The Russian government has unleashed a crackdown on civil society unprecedented in the country's post-Soviet history," the HRW report states.
In a move described as "deliberately reminiscent of the Cold War", Mr Putin brought in a law that requires any organisation receiving funding from abroad to describe itself as a "foreign agent".
Since the start of the year, authorities have carried out over 200 inspections of organisations campaigning to protect human rights, including Amnesty. (© Daily Telegraph, London)