Russian (read: Soviet) psychology 101. Putin and his merry band of ex-KGB bureaucrats are throwing people into the loony bin for daring to criticize or oppose his government.
Ms. Vinogradova is right to be worried, and not merely or even mostly by the prospect of the re-weaponization of psychiatry. Indeed, if one elects a proud KGB president, one probably shouldn’t be surprised that this will occur, and one must remember that to be effective this strategy only needs to strike fear into the population as to when it will be used, not necessarily become widespread in practice. What’s also quite terrifying is the total absence of any serious opposition to developments of this kind amongst the one-fifth of the population that still opposes Putin. In fact, with the national television networks utterly under the Kremlin’s thumb, many Russians will simply remain oblivious of the fact that these events are transpiring until the men in white coats come knocking.
Apparently you can take the boys out of the fascist autocratic system, but you can’t take the fascist autocratic system out of the boys.