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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The landscape before the battle (the election)

Mass protests of 2011-2012, after a cycle of parliamentary and presidential elections showed that the country’s possible political struggle, perhaps a movement.

That is why immediately after the infamous dispersal of the rally on Bolotnaya square on 6 may 2012 the authorities began to prepare for the next elections. Goal is to keep the control arms at any cost. Method — to suppress any possible resistance, to intimidate.

The first thing was started endless “swamp thing” — the violence applied by police against peaceful demonstrators on 6 may, was declared a “mass riots”. The first have received sentences in this case are already free, new still continue to plant.

At the same time began the tightening of legislation. A law was passed, greatly expanding the concept of “treason”, involving huge prison sentences for foreign or international entity any information “directed against the security of the Russian Federation”.

Adopted amendments in the administrative and then in the criminal law that the first output with the peaceful protest ends with arrest and a large fine, the second a huge fine, and the third is a criminal term. Convicted under the newly introduced article 212.1 of the criminal code of the Russian Federation Ildar Dading got two and a half years in prison for pickets, which are always stressed was conducted peacefully.

Then were offered new versions of laws “On police” and “About FSB”, which law enforcement agencies were given more authority on the use of force and imposes less responsibility for the “excesses.” The law on the use of physical force against prisoners, who people called “the law of sadists”, and the law “On police” adopted to date in the first reading. The law on the Federal security service was adopted quickly, within three days, without the possibility of public discussion.

Wrestling with NGOs aimed at their destruction, resulted in the adoption of the law “on foreign agents”. Many organizations then closed, and against the remaining can be used the latest amendments adopted on the project of the Ministry of justice that “political” is literally any activity.

For both active and repressive legislative activity is gaining momentum also repressive law enforcement aimed at suppression of “dissent”. For the period from 2011 to 2015, the number of convictions per year by “extremist articles” has increased three times. Share for share and likes people get criminal penalties — from fines and ispravrabot to a real prison.

But anyway on the eve of elections it was not enough. The obvious need even more power to protect themselves.

The position of the security forces, which are in power now absolute majority and that used to solve the issues, “just”, that is. The opposition are guided by liberal democratic values, they have long been outcasts in the Russian society. And the authorities have to stop playing in the sandbox, give up including from the Constitution, which is also based on these “alien” values, and return to a totalitarian despotism, to which Russia is accustomed throughout its long history.

A striking confirmation of this position were the last two events — the Manifesto of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin, published in “Kommersant-Vlast”, and the bill Spring–Ozerov, on all pairs of rushing to adoption. Bastrykin in his Manifesto directly calls to abandon the Constitution, and the bill Spring–Ozerov at least not openly declared, but expressly implies.

The bill Spring–Ozerova — the package of amendments to the legislation on “terrorism” and “extremism” — expands the definition of extremism and at the same time toughens punishment for him. The only punishment for “extremism” (which now, recall, attitude and likes and shares) it is proposed to leave the deprivation of liberty, it introduces new concepts like “failures to report” on “extremists”, which is also punishable by criminal prosecution, and starting with the 14-year-old children. It is also proposed to prohibit travel abroad for five years to anyone who received a “caution” (which may make any law enforcement Agency).

This bill is aimed not only at suppression and intimidation in a broad sense, but specifically on the struggle with opponents in the election. Supporters of the liberal way of democracy in Russia has long had the stigma of “extremists”. Under the extremism already implied almost any criticism of the authorities. And after the adoption of this law, any opposition candidate will have to carefully weigh every word, not to be removed from the election and to just not go to jail.

At the same time, oddly enough, the authorities are on the path of the transparency of the elections.

The most effective and significant step in this direction — the appointment to the post of CEC Chairman, Ella Pamfilova. I know that Ella Alexandrovna over 20 years and I am sure that it is in any case not cooperative game of power and Pamfilova. And her first steps showed that she really will do everything to have these elections were more open, legal and fair. It has confirmed the decision to abolish elections in Barvikha, as well as open contact Ella Pamfilova with a community of observers.

The final touch to the landscape — destruction of one of the few remaining independent media, RBC.

The objectives of the society in these conditions is clear. The first is to counter the attack of the conservative wing of the security forces, to stop the adoption of the amendments of Spring–Ozerov. This task is more urgent than ever, since first reading has already been successfully passed and it is obvious that the law will be to push further.

To deal with these amendments it is necessary to use all the mechanisms that exist now in society. In particular, a very negative assessment of the bill already received in the Council on human rights under the President — examination of the HRC recommended that it not be taken as being against the Constitution and violating the rights of citizens and at the same time not carrying out their declared objective of combating terrorism. It is necessary now to stop the second reading of the bill in conducting its discussion in the Public chamber, the Council on human rights and experts of the Ombudsman for human rights in Russia. Human rights activists have already sent the appropriate request.

The second tool that companies have to Express their opinion directly, through reasonable actions. Therefore, I urge readers to follow and support them. Power, I hope, in turn, will coordinate such actions, not arranging, as it happens, provocations in the form of denial.

And the second task is to participate in the elections. To observe and to ensure their legality. To vote, supporting those candidates who stand for liberal values and against totalitarianism.

Why I think is so important these same liberal values? In the first place, to prevent international military conflict that is already taking shape. The crisis is now constantly growing. Escalate the confrontation with NATO in the end can become real. At least due to accidental contact of military ships and aircraft, which now constantly find themselves in dangerous proximity to each other in international waters or airspace.

There is a widespread view that Russia can go “special way”, ignoring international treaties, because it is supported by most of the population.

I want to remind you that the Second world war arose because the head of the German States have also “caught” the mood of his people, strengthened them and successfully manipulate them. The Germans have divided nation in the First world war, lived in several other European countries. It is based on this, Adolf Hitler started the Second world war, which affected all European countries, to the greatest extent Russia, and most of all Germany itself.

Therefore, the arguments that liberals “don’t listen to the will of the people”, want to answer, which is not always on that will have to listen, and certainly to listen to it is not necessary, when she wants war. Especially since this will largely provoked by the rabid hate propaganda coming from the Federal television channels.

Hitler violated international treaties in the last century, the Second world war. Russia has not violated any international Treaty, but risks to embark on a path of confrontation with the West, with which you want to go. The liberal course is proposed to find the arrow, which will transfer power to the path of cooperation with the European community, work together to solve the issue of the resolution of the international crisis that has already occurred. To prevent the development of this crisis.

I am sure that is still the way to Russia is possible, especially if the government ceases to be uniform and it would be allowed liberal opposition.

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