Hands Up, Officer Dymovsky!
Kremlin prosecutors announced on Monday that they would file criminal charges against Russian Police Major Alexei Dymovsky for “abuse of office” in connection with his YouTube plea for Kremlin assistance in dealing with widespread corruption in the ranks of the Russian police.
Once again, in other words, the Russian government is going to massacre a legitimate Russian hero and the people of Russia will not lift a finger to stop it.
There can be only one result from this action, of course: Fewer Russians will dare to come forward to point out problems in need of reform, and those problems — just as in Soviet times — will fester and worsen until they cripple and destroy the nation.
The irony here is genuinely shocking. Everyone knows the extent of corruption in the Russian police forces, and yet the Kremlin’s first response is to jail a whistleblower, not to nab any of the corrupt cops themselves. Even as the charges against Dymovsky were being announced, an independent audit of the treatment of Sergei Magnitsky was confirming that he had been tortured by his jailers for political purposes.
Yet the Kremlin, even as it tries to make it look like it is attempting to do justice by Magnitsky, has no hesitation in profferring criminal charges against exactly the sort of person who is necessary to affect such justice. Even as it fires some of Magnitsky’s oppressors, it crucifies those who would speak the truth about such cases.
The message from the Kremlin is clear: It is at least as serious an offense to expose police corruption as it is to commit it, and the Kremlin will deal harshly with those who dare to do so.