Well, that didn’t last long.
Russian President Vladimir Putin played nice with his own citizens in front of the world in the months leading up to the Olympics. In December, he freed famous political prisoners like Mikhail Khodorkovsky and members of Pussy Riot and Greenpeace.
The closing ceremony in Sochi was Sunday. The very next day, Moscow police detained more than 200 activists for protesting against Putin, including those same members of Pussy Riot and well-known opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
It gets even more meta: The Monday protesters were demonstrating against prison sentences handed down to other protesters. Known as the Bolotnaya Square case, eight protesters were found guilty of violence against police and rioting from a demonstration in the square in May 2012. It was one day before Putin re-assumed the Russian presidency.
Their sentences were announced Monday, which drew the activist crowds out in Moscow. Seven of the eight defendants were sentenced to a range of 2.5 to four years in prison. Human rights organization Amnesty International calls it “injustice at its most obvious.”
The Russian government didn’t completely back off protesters during the Olympics: LGBT activists in Moscow were arrested in Moscow, for trying to unfurl a huge banner across a bridge, and Pussy Riot was arrested in Sochi. They were also horsewhipped by Cossacks, which was caught on video, but Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak says those Cossacks are being “held accountable.” He wouldn’t specify exactly what that means, though; it doesn’t appear to mean prison terms like the Bolotnaya protesters and Navalny have received.