Exposing the Horror of Russia’s Crackdown on the Blogosphere

Blogger Dmitri Minaev has horrifying details on the arrest of Oborona activist and blogger Dmitri Solovyov for publishing critical posts about the Kremlin.  He points out that back in July Solovyov published a post predicting that Russia would attack Georgia in late August based on a report on Kavkaz Centre.  Among other things, KC predicted that Russia would rig a “terrorist event” in Sochi to prestage the attack, and would gradually ratchet up Ossetian military action until Georgia was forced to respond.  Minaev notes that in fact there was a bomb explosion in Sochi just before the attack.  Then he offers a translation one of the posts for which Solovyov was arrested:

The Men in Gray Won’t Break Oborona

by Dmitri Solovyov

You think that with a stupid “Not allowed!” you can destroy an organization? It won’t work. You have been dragged into a a game you know you cannot win. You’re setting up your brown bear protégé. You’ll keep going until some Merkel or Bush calls on the phone and whispers “Stop it!” into the receiver. And then, although you now stand on every corner spreading the stinky mantra, “Russia will never be brought to its knees. Russia will not permit itself to be ruled from abroad,” you’ll come to attention like good lads, salute, and bellow out, “Yes, sir!” Just like you bellowed last year, when the June March [of the Dissenters] was permitted at the request of the German chancellor. Or like you bellowed a month ago, when you transferred [Vasily] Aleksanyan [a severely ill lawyer and ex-Yukos executive in police custody since 2006] to a clinic at the request of the American president.

You admit it: you’re not capable of any sort of dialogue with the opposition. For you, we are the spawn of hell. Go ahead, be afraid: sooner or later you’ll return to the hole you crawled out of in 1999.

On 2 December [2007] and 2 March [2008—the dates, respectively, of Russian parliamentary and presidential elections] you once and for all dispelled our remaining illusions. Anyone capable of thinking no longer believes you. And those who can’t think for themselves will all the same end up getting hit over the head by you. The recent Moscow action against “persons of Slavic complexion”—when you arrested minors and fingerprinted them as if they were criminals—showed a lot of such people what ordinary folks—people who go a mile out of their way to avoid politics and think that if they don’t stick out their necks they’ll be left alone—can expect from you.

You’re sure that the best way of communicating with a citizen is when his mouth his taped shut. Fine: you’ve shut him up; you’ve handcuffed him and tied his legs to a chair. And what have you got? This is what you call sovereign democracy? This is what you advertise at all the international forums as stability? No, you’re afraid. You tremble in the fear that everyone will find out what you’ve turned a free country into in the space of eight years. How many innocent people sit in pre-trial detention waiting for unjust verdicts? How many people have been maimed and how many people murdered at police stations, where they were forced to confess to crimes they didn’t commit, and all for the sake of monthly crime fighting statistics? What kind of quota have you already set for charging people with violation of article 282 [of the Russian Federation Criminal Code, which outlaws the incitement of ethnic, racial or religious hatred]? Was Savva Terentiev a test run? How many such Savvas are you prepared to enfold in your iron embrace?

Then there is your success in the battle against extremists: since the new year, thirty-seven ethnically motivated murders have been committed in Moscow. Moreoever, this is what you want: it is easier to persuade ordinary folks of your own indispensability by racheting up the fear.

You have managed to drag back into the world an abomination that only ten years ago we thought had surely gone away forever—the psikhushki [punitive psychiatric detention]. Andropov’s favorite creation. Or is any comparison with that unforgettable KGB agent like music to your ears? What have you yourselves become? Have you forgotten how this all ends? Don’t be naïve: you won’t escape the danger a second time. A blind, cruel man is incapable of seeing the light and feeling compassion. And you yourselves know what is done in such cases.

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4 responses to “Exposing the Horror of Russia’s Crackdown on the Blogosphere

  1. It is amazing that in this country, America, we allow such a variety of repugnant opinions, like the kind you will find on Sean’s Russia Blog; yet such commentary is banned in the very country that those bloggers defend. You never see “Dmitri Medvedev” or “Ivanov” condemning the out right attacks on free speech. They just wrap themselves in the Russian flag, close their eyes, and turn up their ipods.

    Which brings me to my main point. How paranoid do you have to be to feel threatened by a blog? If you do feel threatened by a blog, what’s next? Stalin once said that a man might be guilty just by his thoughts. Is Putin and his cronies lowering themselves to such a level? Let us hope not. But with enough Medvedev’s it seems to easy to suppose not.

  2. Thanks for the quotation, but I just compiled some other stories I found. I did not translate these articles, nor made any conclusions on the links with the bomb in Sochi :).

    Thank you.

  3. Pingback: Cyber Cossack » Blog Archive » Russia Cracks Down on Blogger Who Predicted Georgian Invasion.

  4. Pingback: Spanish Pundit

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