United Russia, Party of Murderers
In our last issue, we publicized a horrific motor vehicle assault, captured on YouTube, in which a Russian driver in the city of Irkutsk mowed down two defenseless pedestrians and then ignored their plight, worrying only about placing a phone call and inspecting her car for damage. No other drivers stopped their cars to help, and pedestrians also ignored the victims. Yelena Pyatakova, 34, died later in hospital while her 27-year-old sister, Yulia, suffered serious injuries. No action was taken by the police agains the driver. It was Russian barbarism laid bare, and we did not dare imagine it could get worse.
But worse it did get.
It soon became apparent that the driver, 28-year-old Anna Shavenkova, was a high-ranking official in the Kremlin’s party of power, United Russia, and her mother was Irkutsk region’s election committee chairman. Suddenly, the reason that the driver was not being prosecuted began to look more like political patronage than mere Russian incompetence. A lawyer for the family stated that there were serious flaws in the police investigation of the incident, such that much evidence had gone missing: ”It’s worrying that not only has the investigator allowed illegal actions or simple inaction regarding this case, but a large number of serious mistakes have been made which could be accidental or could be deliberate.”
Massive Internet pressure appears to have forced the local authorities to begin at least a nominal investigation, but there is no telling where it will lead. From all appearances, Shavenkova’s phone call at the scene was made to powerful friends in United Russia, friends who then immediately short-circuited the police investigation.
But just because there’s an investigation doesn’t mean anything serious will happen to Shavenkova, and it certainly doesn’t mean that anything fundamental will change in Russia. Russians won’t start stopping when they see a fellow Russian in trouble. They’ll go on with their furious hostility towards foreigners even as they abuse themselves far worse than any foreigner ever could. They’ll go on destroying themselves with such misconduct until, once again, their nation collapses.
Maybe the next time will be the last time.