October 21, 2014 17:30

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Editorial: if they aren't with us, they are against us

23.10.12 12:37    By Gazeta.ru editorial


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The investigation of the political criminal case initiated on the basis of the NTV film "Anatomy of protest-2" shows exactly how the authorities are trying to turn peaceful opposition activists into public enemies.

On Monday Russia's Investigative Committee (IC) confirmed that the opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhaev had been arrested. The statement by the IC said that Razvozzhaev himself came to investigators to give testimony and confessed that he and his protester-colleagues Sergey Udaltsov and Konstantin Lebedev were orgaznizing mass riots in Russia. He also said that Udaltsov and Lebedev were linked with the mass riots in Moscow on May 6 , 2012 and that they were financed by the Georgian official Givi Targamadze.

At the same time Razvozzhaev, while being taken away from the courtroom on Sunday, shouted to journalists that he was kidnapped in Ukraine and was tortured for two days to make a confession. Targamadze, in his turn, called the accusations by Russia's IC "absurd."

It seems that the authorities have decided to film the third part of "Anatomy of protest."

In the Chelyabinsk region FSB workers found prohibited literature in opposition offices. Investigators claim that the materials belong to a woman who is mentioned in "Anatomy of protest-2" and that she managed to get the trust of such opposition activists as Sergey Udaltsov and Boris Nemtsov.
The very statement of FSB is reminiscent of Stalin-era trials against public enemies: "Political myopia and the unscrupulousness of the opposition allowed the woman to become an active member of the liberal movement, whose aims to change the current political system in Russia are likely to be very close."
According to the Chelyabinsk incident and the case against Razvozzhaev, the authorities have a certain plan to put a criminal case under previously set scenario. It does not only involve arresting opposition leaders, but also accusing them of the highest political crime – "treason."

They will try to persuade people that the opposition received funds from foreign states. But the Kremlin plot writers could not come up with any other state than the relatively puny Georgia.

At the same time, the absurdity of chasing opposition activists has turned to a more global scale. The authorities are trying to persuade people not only that oppositionists do not agree with Putin's course, but that they are public enemies.

This seems like a signal to all those who participate in street protests and in the election of the Opposition Coordination Council. Participating in protests and rallies against the authorities from now on is equal to treason.

Russia does not have any platform for normal democratic processes which include the freedom to gather. Any political protest in Russia is seen by authorities as the struggle with political enemies.

The actions of Russian authorities resemble Stalin's era, which itself was very remote up until recently.

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