While Pussy Riot's plight retains the media's focus the common Russian is also suffering Putin's dictatorial tactics.
Eighteen of the hundreds of protesters detained for marching on the Eve of Putin's second presidency were later arrested.
They were charged with assaulting police and participating in mass riots. Almost all of them appear to be rank-and-file activists or ordinary protesters.
"It is as if they were deliberately selected to represent different walks of life," a girlfriend of one of the captives told the BBC.
They include students, scientists, a travel agent, a journalist, an electrician and even an ex-marine, who marched in front of Mr Putin during a Red Square parade just a year before.