Dmitri A. Muratov, a new laureate, engages with the Kremlin, while Aleksei A. Navalny, the most high-profile Putin critic, resists all compromise. The Kremlin capitalizes on the fault line.

The anger showed how Russia’s opposition is atomized and weakened — all the more so as the authorities escalate their crackdown on dissent, forcing activist groups and news outlets to shut down and ever more dissidents and journalists into exile. In the Kremlin, seeing the internecine war of words in the opposition over Mr. Muratov’s award must have touched off “euphoria,” said Tatiana Stanovaya, the founder of R.Politik, a political analysis firm.

“When you live under the barrel of a gun, such times lead to divisions,” Ms. Stanovaya said. “The authorities do a wonderful job capitalizing on this.”

Indeed, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, congratulated Mr. Muratov, calling him talented and brave.



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