Susanne Scholl, Moscow Bureau Chief for Austrian Public Television, writing in the Moscow Times:
Colonel Yury Budanov is a convicted rapist and murderer. After serving half of his 10-year prison sentence for the rape and murder of an 18-year-old Chechen, Elza Kungayeva, he was released in January on parole for good behavior.
Svetlana Bakhmina worked as a lawyer for former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2004, she was arrested and sentenced in 2006 to 6 1/2 years on embezzlement and tax fraud charges. Like Budanov, she applied for early release from prison in 2008. Her request was refused, as was her earlier plea in 2006 to suspend her sentence until her two small sons reached the age of 14 — a request she was entitled to make under Russian law.
Vasily Aleksanyan, former Yukos executive vice president and attorney, defended Khodorkovsky and his partner, Platon Lebedev, after their arrest in 2003. He was subsequently disbarred and was himself arrested in April 2006. By that time, Aleksanyan was critically ill with AIDS, for which treatment was withheld. In December 2008, the Moscow City Court approved his release on bail of 50 million rubles (about $1.8 million at the time).
Finally, consider Khodorkovsky and Lebedev themselves. Arrested in 2003, they were sentenced in 2005 to eight years in prison on charges of tax fraud. They are serving their sentence in Chita on the Chinese border, although Russian law prescribes that for the crimes with which they were charged they were entitled to be imprisoned near their place of domicile — that is, in Moscow.
When Dmitry Medvedev was elected president a little more than a year ago, he promised to do away with the “legal nihilism” in Russia. Although he was a close confidante of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, many hoped that he would stop the vendetta against Khodorkovsky and all those who had been close to him. Disillusion fully set in only one year after Medvedev’s election, when a new case against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev was brought, this time for embezzlement of billions and money laundering.
A cynical observer remarked at the preliminary hearing that it appeared as if the Russian authorities couldn’t make up their minds: Either the former Yukos bosses didn’t pay taxes or they embezzled money. But since when does one pay taxes on embezzled funds?
The courtroom where the new trial against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev is taking place is slightly larger than a classroom. And it is full of heavily armed guards. Despite this, the two defendants are forced to sit inside a narrow cage whose glass front has only two small holes through which their lawyers can communicate with them. Every day, they are brought into the courtroom handcuffed like dangerous felons. One cannot help but contrast this with Budanov, the rapist and murderer who is now free to move about Russia at will.
Without explanation, the judge refused requests by the defense to remove the cage and to replace one of the prosecutors, who had already been a prosecuting counsel during the first trial. So the authorities’ aim seems clear: put Khodorkovsky and Lebedev away for a much longer time — for up to an additional 22 1/2 years if they are convicted. Few doubt that they will be.
This new trial of course is also a test case for Medvedev’s presidency. So far, he has done nothing to counteract the legal nihilism against which he himself has spoken. But maybe he will in the course of this trial, which resembles a personal vendetta even more than the first one did.
To be sure, Khodorkovsky is no saint. Like many others in Russia who are allowed to enjoy their wealth in peace today (or maybe are lamenting its loss because of the financial crisis), he made his money in thoroughly obscure ways during the 1990s. But, instead of buying villas, yachts or soccer clubs abroad, he invested his fortune in Russia.
Of course, he did mainly fill his own pockets, and his social and political activities certainly were not entirely altruistic, either. But what made him public enemy No. 1 for Putin was his desire to move Russia in a political direction that he viewed as positive and desirable. It was his ambition to subject the country to truly far-reaching social and political reforms that sealed his downfall and also brought about this new trial, which appears intended to silence him for good.
Medvedev’s presidency will inevitably be measured to a large extent by this case. Will he tolerate and endorse his prime minister’s personal aversions, or is he willing to put an end to the infamous spectacle of a judicial process that has been manipulated and abused from beginning to end?
Little speaks for the latter scenario, but Russia has always been a country where hope dies last.
Budanov is a decorated war hero. Just like the Haditha marines. The only reason he was convicted of killing a chechen female sniper is because Kremlin wanted to appease the Kadyrov clan and increase their popularity among the chechen people. Be real careful LR. Your double standards regarding islamofascists and terrorists will get you @$#%&.
LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:
Thanks for your links to published material demonstrating that Budanov was not guilty, very impressive stuff, very convincing. You really ought to be blogging! Don’t be such a wallflower!
But seriously, you ignoramus, Germany decorated lots of “heroes” for murdering thousands of Russians in World War II. Does that mean they couldn’t be prosecuted for their crimes? The regime that “decorated” Budanov is full of KGB spies. Do you really think their decorations are impressive? If so, we pity you.
Really Jerry, even the Russian military admitted that neither the girl in question, or any member of her family were involved in separatist movements or actions.
And he raped the girl in order to celebrate his daughters birthday. Probably he will be a danger to his daughter, though I understand that “keeping it in the family” is fairly common in Russia.
You Russians are such morons.
“Haditha Marines”? Rather like http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/us/05abuse.html (except it was a young Private and not a Colonel decorated with the country’s highest award).
The other war criminals in the case got similar sentences of about 100 years in prison.
And the victims were not even American citiziens (in such case, there would be rather death penalty – which was sought here by the prosecution anyway).
Budanov was actually not convicted of rape.
One of his soldiers said he raped the corpse when Budanov told them to dispose of the body. The soldier was not prosecuted for anything (instantly amnestied), instead he was given a medal.
True, but the autopsy showed she had been repeatedly raped (while alive) and there was sufficient evidence for him to be initially charged. It was later dropped.
Yes, but the sentence was not for rape (and the guy who said that he violeted the corpse was instead given a medal).
Btw, Kadyrov declared he wants to prosecute him of numerous other murders (an uncovered mass grave in the area is said to contain Budanov’s victims). Even demonstrations were organized in Grozny.
But of course if Kadyrov was serious about making him pay, Budanov would be already dead even if he’s protected by Shamanov (and he is).
Jerry you’re disgusting cowardly degenerate. “War hero”, what a sick pervert and retard you are, how dare you paedophile.
Don’t discuss with those KGB plants.
We have been there and seen that …
Andrew may I ask your nationality and where you from? Whether you’re a redneck from Alabama, a metrosexual from Manhattan, a queer from San FranSicko or even some pedophile out of Brussels, you’re much more likely to keep it “in the family” than any Russians would. Or perhaps you’re a one of the goat-loving mountain people?
Jerry, I am from NZ, born in Wellington.
See if you can use your tiny little brain to work out where that is.
BTW, since you support the rape and murder of young girls, I am pretty sure you are some little sadist paedo.
Where are you from you child abuser?
Actually Kungayeva was 18 and looked this: http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39448000/jpg/_39448071_roza_203_ap.jpg so Yuri was not a pedophile but just your standard Russian “not a monster” (his own words in the Jan. 2000 NYT article I posted – for some reason the reporter believed his fairy tale, which was not unusual).
The emotions are running pretty high here. Why not simply discuss the case? The main point seems to be prejudice against Chechens (and in general people from the Caucasus and other so-called “chërnye”). The rape was lightly treated because of (a) Budanov’s military record and (b) the aforementioned prejudice. Or so it seems to me.
What military record? Budanov was a no-name colonel who had barely any military accomplishments before the rape-murder. He became a hero because of his rape murder (OK, alleged rape-murder; possibly necrophiliac-murder) .
Budanov was actually given a “Hero of the RF” medal before.
Which means nothing, because they were handing it out for nothing (unlike the Hero of the SU medals in Afghanistan, that were very few in comparison – even if this complete moron Grachev got one there too). They gave over 100 for Chechnya in 2 years – and only 30-odd or so (don’t remember exact figure now) in 10 years of the war in Afghanistan.
Kinda like these 20 Medals of (dis)Honor for the soldiers who took part in the Wounded Knee Massacre. Normally means somehing, here given for nothing if not just for murder.
Here’s Budanov lying to a western reporter about what happened in one New Year battle in 2000:
And here’s what really happened (Budanov’s forces smashed in this battle, 6 armoured vehicles destroyed, 2 APCs captured – and stranded there at this village for literally months):
Later in the video there’s part of the wreckage of Budanov’s column – it was a Russian attack, despite Budanov’s lies (it was repelled, so he couldn’t tell he captured the village and invented a “victorious defense” – for stuff like that he got his Hero).
Your analysis is usually much deeper than mine, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong…
I don’t think that’s correct. As far as I can see, he was awarded “Order of Courage” (Орден Мужества) which is fairly minor (5-degree) award given to every officer that was in the “hot spot” or even during natural disaster.
I realize, it’s a minor point. My main point is that history knows a lot of heroes that embarrassed themselves after exemplary career. Russia is unique in that they glorified no-name rapists and murderers for murders and rapes. It’s like minor league running back became glorified after he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.
Well, maybe indeed I misunderstood this “hero of Russia” thing and I assumed it’s official title. Or maybe he was strapped of the medal following his conviction.
An interesting article about “hero” and the Russian mentality:
As of Calley (as unlikely as it sounds, even those in the US anti-war movement supported him!), there’s a Russian official war crimes suspect in hiding who much more quitely enjoys an even more similar sentiment:
Rasha did not pay enough for that. The end is near for the present bunch. Too bad that the real guilty moscals are not there, but already sent their children to the West. The Americans had “Operation Keelhaul” to send the defending nationalities back to Stalin. I am sure that this kind of treachery still exists today. I support the war of attrition against Moscow in the Caucasus. If it has to be Muslim in nature, because there are no other real allies to count on, then fight on brothers. Moscali killed millions and have paid very little. But the end is near. I am proud of what these young Chechens are doing to the Filthy Moscali. The Chinese when they come, will not accept the surrender of Armies “European Style” but this will be a war of annihilation. Too bad that innocent, if any will suffer more than the real guilty.
Actually, the Chinese takeover of Russia (or at least the Asian part) is going to be a peaceful, through colonization and other expansion.
But in the case if the empire breaks-up and not in a peaceful way, they would just deal with the local warlords (one way or another)… but for now it’s just political fiction scenarios.
I wish to point out that when the Chinese invaded Tibet that they sterilized Tibetan Males and forced the females to wed Han Chinese.
Anyway it is going this way, because the Moscali are backing down. They have no other choice, and do not have the balls to stop them. They can’t draft Ukes, or others to fight for them as they did in Finland. The Chinese “Slow Ascent” is working. Later Chinese will have the power to deal with the “worthless moscali” or whatever ever is left. Be sure of one thing if, Pootin could Moscali would murder as many as they could to extract slave labor for Savokian Rasha to turn them into a Rooskayi Cheloveky or something like that. Hell nobody would know anyway, till it was too late. They would be killing their own mangy kind. Not many “good” Russians left anyway.
You’re right Andrew, I don’t know anything about NZ. No one does! lol It’s very unfortunate, but like most people in this world I never really cared for the armpit of the Eastern hemisphere. As for your repetitive accusations of incest and pedophilia, I have an old Russian saying. “У кого что болит, тот о том и говорит”.
Anyways, rudeness, ignorance, hateful foaming at the mouth and angry tirades are to be expected from the faithfull LR followers. Especially the goat-molesters from the Caucases and хохлы like George, who were conceived by rubbing pig fat on a pollack’s arse.
Jerry, Russia is the capital of child porn & incest websites.
Russia and its (ethnic Russian) mafia are the chief human traffickers.
Just look at the number of children abused in your orphanages.
The fact that your military “officers” pimp out their conscripts to be raped by rich Russian pederasts.
Your comment “У кого что болит, тот о том и говорит” can equally (and more accurately apply) to you with your focus on goat molesting.
Russia and Russians are a vile culture.
I’d have to disagree Andrew. Thailand, Cambodia and other such countries in South-East Asia are the world capitals of child molestation. I’ve just watched a documentary on Bangkok, on msnbc I believe. 5 year old kids are being sold in the streets abundantly. In Russia that would be an extreme anomaly, and would be more likely happen in the streets of SanFranSicko or the world capital of pedophiles, Brussels. The only recent case in Russia that I can remember is that Jewish-American businessmen Mogilyansky. Either way, guess who comes to Cambodia to molest those kids? Thats right Andrew, sick filthy pedophiles from US, UK, Australia and I’m sure NZ, who salivate at the thought of molesting a child for a few dollars. You say Russian culture is vile? Look at the corporate-Hollywood model that you bow down to . Sodomy and perversion are the norm.In California words “mom” and “dad” cannot be used in textbooks. Sick fat queers are judging beauty contests and the main stream media panders to the perverts by hackling down a beautiful biblicaly-sound woman. Up is down. Down is up.
Russia might look rugged on the outside, but they got soul. What do you have? An empty smile, a coke and a society quickly degenerating into self-destruction.
Wow, so much suppressed-homosexuality anger in you. Are you sure you prefer “biblicaly-sound women”?
Sodomy and gomory!