Lugovoi has his OJ Moment as the Neo-Soviet Crackdown Continues Apace in Putin’s Russia

“If someone has caused the Russian state serious damage, they should be exterminated.”

— Andrei Lugovoy, Russian MP

The Times of London reports:

The Kremlin has hardened its stance against dissent in Russia by expanding the definition of treason to include critics of the state.

A new Bill submitted to the Duma, the Russian parliament, on Friday will leave people vulnerable to prosecution for acts considered to threaten not only national security but also the country’s constitutional order. Critics said that it was designed to intimidate opposition to the Kremlin at a time of rising economic discontent.

Details of the Bill emerged as the man accused by Britain of murdering Alexander Litvinenko, the dissident former spy, said that anyone harming the Russian State should be killed. Andrei Lugovoy, who is now a member of the Duma, said that he would order the assassination of anyone considered a traitor if he were in the Russian President’s shoes.

“If someone has caused the Russian state serious damage, they should be exterminated,” Mr Lugovoy, a former KGB officer, told the Spanish newspaper El País. “Do I think someone could have killed Litvinenko in the interests of the Russian State? If you’re talking about the interests of the Russian State, in the purest sense of the word, I myself would have given that order. “I’m not talking about Litvinenko but about any person who causes serious damage.”

Mr Litvinenko, a fierce critic of the former President Vladimir Putin, died in exile in London in November 2006 after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210. Mr Lugovoy denies killing him.

The Bill defines treason as “a deed aimed against security of the Russian Federation, including her constitutional order, sovereignty, territorial and state integrity”. The present law restricts prosecutions to “acts aimed at damaging external security”.

The measure also threatens to revive the Soviet-era habit of placing under suspicion anyone who has contact with foreigners. It gives warning that people could be guilty of treason for “rendering financial or material and technical or consultative support to … a foreign organisation”.

The amendment raises the spectre of people falling under suspicion for giving interviews critical of the Kremlin to foreign journalists.

The definition of foreign bodies is also being expanded to include international organisations, which the note said had sought repeatedly to obtain Russia’s secrets through illegal methods.

A note to the Bill said that it would ease investigations by the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB. The Russian newspaper Kommersant headlined its report on the proposals as “Betrayal of the Motherland – the business of everyone”.

Mr Putin attacked foreign organisations when he was President, suggesting that many were fronts for Western governments to promote unrest. He imposed heavy reporting rules on non-governmental organisations, requiring them to obtain official approval of annual plans of work.

Boris Nadezhdin, a law lecturer at Moscow university and a senior official with Right Cause, a new Kremlin-approved liberal party, said that the latest reform was an “act of intimidation” drawn from the Stalin era. The authorities would be able to use the powers to suppress opposition activity.

Gennadi Gudkov, the deputy head of the Duma security committee, denied that the Kremlin could accuse anyone of treason, explaining that “not everyone has access to state secrets”.

Mr Putin’s United Russia party holds two thirds of seats in the Duma so the Bill is certain to become law. The amendments were presented on the same day that the Duma restored the Soviet practice of allowing judges to decide cases against people accused of violent crimes and civil disturbances.

Police arrested 90 demonstrators in Moscow and 60 in St Petersburg on Sunday for staging anti-Kremlin protests. Garry Kasparov, the chess champion and critic of Mr Putin, and Boris Nemtsov, a former Deputy Prime Minister, founded a movement to try to unite democratic opposition to the regime.

President Medvedev ordered police chiefs last month to take harsher measures against social unrest and bring charges, saying: “Otherwise there won’t be any order.”

Russian authorities fear that the economic crisis could spark protests as unemployment rises and incomes fall. There are expectations that the rouble will be devalued by as much as 25 per cent in the new year.

13 responses to “Lugovoi has his OJ Moment as the Neo-Soviet Crackdown Continues Apace in Putin’s Russia

  1. the cracking down just took a big leap…

    will it be a new red terror?

    all opposition to the government is treason.
    end to jury trials in treason cases.

    looks like the lubyanka is going to have guests soon.

  2. Dear Mr. Putin, since you insist on Going Back To The Future, would you please change the FSB back to the KGB. It is growing tiresome to read story after story of how the ‘FSB, the successor to the KGB’…blah blah blah. We already have a good idea what you are up to; a return to Soviet days.

    This amendment is setting up an entire kangaroo court,(as if the Khordorovsky trials weren’t already) and from RA’s website I see you, Mr. Putin, are hoping to hop back over to the presidency.

    If your policies, behaviors, and ‘friends’ were not costing people their lives and livelihoods, your terms as POR and PMOR would be a joke!

    Why do you hate Russia so much Mr. Putin?

  3. @barb:

    “It is growing tiresome to read story after story of how the ‘FSB, the successor to the KGB’…blah blah blah.”

    I’m not surprised you feel tired.
    Stop reading the anti-Russian propaganda media. ;)

  4. I see we have a good little sovok here, trilirium, or delirium.

    He advises the good old sovok solution – don’t read anything.

    Just be a dumb, stupid rooshan.

    For the glory of Vlad Dracul Putin and oily orthodox mother roosha.

    Don’t be a human being – be a rooshan.

  5. Anti-Russian propaganda media = truth. The Putin/KGB propaganda machine is busy trying to make Russia look like a legitimate, responsible world power, which they have decided not to be. The thugs in charge of the Kremlin are nothing but a collection of mafia type murderers. The fact that there is no free press, no legitimate opposition parties is some how anti-Russian propaganda? Is the whole Russian nation smoking some laced weed or something? Is there something in the water that makes one a mindless zombi? Wake up and dabble with the truth for a change. Oh, wait a minute, that’s right, a Russian who speaks the truth usually ends up with a bullet in the head or somehow wakes up dead.

  6. Does that mean that Lugovoi will kill Putin and Medvedev? Both have done huge damage to the state.

  7. To Trilirium

    Funny poster, you! Pulling my statement out of context, lol! But to be sure, here are just a few of the ‘pro-russian’ or at least claiming to be neutral sites I read: Misha’s blog, Siberian Lights, Russia Today, President of Russia personal site. Actually, La Russophobe is unique in (her) view point versus so many of the others. Certainly LR can not be that influential as to nullify so many others; perhaps there is a grain of truth in so much that is posted here?

    I could also go into an entire discussion of what is it really to be anti-Russian. Was Anna Politsoskya(sp?) anti-Russian, or could she considered pro-Russian, since her articles and books sought to show the world how horrible the average Russian was having in trying to live in a Russia where the government treats its citizens and soldiers like expendable toys. (Remember the Kursk!) Is Boris Nemstov anti-Russian because he dares to point out the problems with the Russian government? Or is he pro-Russian because he speaks up for the average Russian citizen who lives between lawless thugs and a ruthless state (Remember Yokus) Is Gary Kasporov anti-Russian for daring to stand up to Putin or is he pro-Russian in his quest to see that the average Russian citizen has the right to free speach, the right to critisize, the right to vote their choice? (Remember the elections?) Is La Russophobe anti-Russian because she chastises those who support tyranny or at least pretends it won’t affect them? Or is she pro-Russian because she, who apparaently has nothing to gain from all this, continues to show the world the danger which exists for the everyday Russian and in turn the world?

    Your call.

  8. So, trilirium, where would barb or anyone in the west find pro-Russian articles, by which I define as pro-Putin, to read?

    Want to link for us any legitimate western media of stature that isn’t discussing in the same negative tones the same topics about Russia as LR? The NYT’s, WaPo, the BBC, FOX, CNN, any of them? Any media in the EU?

    I take it that in your view any criticism of Russia’s decent into autocratic thuggery is unfair. I’m also guessing you approve of every spoonful of Putin’s media slop, feel Russians are above criticism and that the order of things there is perfectly ok and that you are very pleased with your blanket defense of that. In my universe that makes you an ignorable person whose contribution is two dumb sentences with a vacuous emoticon attached.

  9. @barb: Well, I guess it’s my move…

    “But to be sure, here are just a few of the ‘pro-russian’ or at least claiming to be neutral sites I read: Misha’s blog, Siberian Lights, Russia Today, President of Russia personal site.”

    Well, more or less good choice… ;)

    “Certainly LR can not be that influential as to nullify so many others; perhaps there is a grain of truth in so much that is posted here?”

    Well, you can find “a grain of truth” anywhere, if you search for it long enough. In the case of this blog — this must be an extremely tiny grain. ;)

    “Was Anna Politsoskya(sp?) anti-Russian, or could she considered pro-Russian, since her articles and books sought to show the world how horrible the average Russian was having in trying to live in a Russia where the government treats its citizens and soldiers like expendable toys. ”

    First: she was “Anna Politkovskaya”.
    Second: I definitely consider her articles anti-Russian (and extremely primitive).

    “how horrible the average Russian was having in trying to live in a Russia” — if her target audience is bying such idiotic rant, it’s not Russia’s problem.

    “Remember the Kursk!”

    I do. So? Do you remember “Thresher” and “Scorpion”?

    “Is Boris Nemstov anti-Russian because he dares to point out the problems with the Russian government?”

    You spelt him right, congrats! ;)
    The only problem with Nemtsov and “Russian government” (I guess) is what now Nemtsov is OUT the government. Because, 10 years ago, the he was IN (and the economic situation in Russia was really horrible) — I can’t recall he was talking about any problems.

    “Remember Yokus?”

    Yokus? No, I can’t. Maybe, it was YUKOS?

    “Is Gary Kasporov anti-Russian…”

    Maybe, Garry Kasparov? ;)

    “Remember the elections?”

    I do. I not only remember them, but almost always participate. So?

    “Is La Russophobe anti-Russian because she chastises those who support tyranny or at least pretends it won’t affect them?”

    She is not much original.
    Hitler’s propaganda claimed something about “fighting the Bolshevik tyranny”, too.

  10. Trusty little sovok, delirium, comes forth to pontificate.

    Except he laid an egg.

    Notice his focus – spelling.

    I can’t tell you how many times, on assorted blogs and forums, I have seen little sovoks come forth to try to “win” an argument by pointing out – spelling.

    On the Internet, spelling mistakes are common – people type fast, it’s the nature of the beast.

    Everyone knows it.

    Not little sovoks, like delirium, however.

    They pounce on every spelling error like kittens on a toy – because they have nothing else to say.

    Then they triumphantly let you know, overty or indirectly, that they have “won” – because they have pointed out your pselling (note – intentional there) errors.

    If the Titanic was going down, not only would little sovoks focus on rearranging the deck chairs – they would start inspecting the ship for spelling errors.

    Russia is going down – trusty little sovok delirium is going to make roosha “win” by pointing out – spelling errors.

    Idiot.

  11. @elmer:
    if you want to introduce yourself, don’t do it in last line of your comment. Try first one.

    First: I mentioned much more, than “spelling errors” in my reply. I’m afraid, the rest of my message is just far your brainpower to understand. A pity.

    Second: What I was talking about was not “spelling errors” — more properly it is called “blind idiotic ignorance”. Is it really pathetic — reletting me Politkovskaya idiotic propaganda tales, and being even unable to spell her name properly!
    Even if you don’t know it — why not consult online sources? How about Wikipedia, for example?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Politkovskaya

    The problem with most of this blog’s readers, I’m afraid, is what they never learned how to use some other, more objective sources of information. Or, probably, like the most narrow-minded bigots, they just don’t want to find one.

  12. trilirium;

    reletting???? Maybe you meant relating? While I appreciate your corrections of my humble post, I feel you do not answer fully, the questions. You do not feel Politkovskaya is a patriot, yet you do not give your proof. As for refusal to search out other sources of information by which I make my opinion about Vladimir Putin, I hardly think reading his speeches he has given over the times, then observing his (his government’s) actions could be counted as narrow minded.

    Each to their own opinion of course

    To Elmer;

    Tu est tres gallant! If I remember my French correctly. Please correct any spelling errors you find. LOL!

  13. Barb, it’s “es”, I believe.

    Merci beaucoup.

    Or bo-cups.

    “Good government comes through good spelling on the Internet.”

    Words to die by.

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