We are here today to examine the current state of human rights in Russia and to better understand what is taking place within that country today. Russia's been an important partner on a range of issues, from Iran sanctions to Afghanistan to reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the world, and will continue to play a strong and influential role on the global stage. But, Russia's partnership on a number of issues does not preclude us from taking a hard look at what appears to be a systematic crackdown on internationally recognized basic freedoms, including freedom of association, expression, since President Putin assumed the Presidency for a third time. Sadly, it appears that no one is immune. President Putin has targeted both Russian NGOs and highly respected international NGOs, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Transparency International. He has made it profoundly difficult for any political opposition to organize or to have their voices heard. Most recently, he has targeted public health and environmental advocacy organizations and groups working for the protection of LGBT individuals. He has even put musicians in jail.