Lead and the law. How how to rule Russia

Ilya Ponomaryov was the only deputy of the Duma who voted against the annexation of Crimea last year. The Kremlin took it bad, and today Ponomaryovis charged of embezzlement while abroad. Not the bullets that killed Nemtsov, the strongest weapon against the opposition in Russia is the law.

Nothing happens by chance in Russia. And the fact that the Federal Investigative Committee - a kind of super power of attorney created by Putin and reporting directly to the Kremlin - has started to investigate on the only MP who dared vote against the annexation of Crimea cannot be a coincidence.

Now Ilya Ponomaryov, formally accused of corruption, is the United States after losing his parliamentary immunity. According to the Committee, he would take 700,000eurobribes from the Skolkovostate university, for a number of lectureshe didn’t give.

"I do not intend to become a political emigre," Ponomaryov said. "I ended up here [in the United States] against my will. They intentionally waited until I was abroad on business to close the border to me. I am a Russian citizen. I am a deputy from Novosibirsk and I intend to remain such in the future."

Lethal Weapon

Ponomaryov’svote has prevented the treaty of annexation of Crimea was approved unanimously. In short, he spoiled the party. It was a matter of time for the Investigative Committee to notice him. This is not to say that the prosecution is necessarily invented, but most likely it is specious. Scraping into the private affairs of all 450 deputies would give the Committee work for the next 450 years.

The case of Ponomaryov is another glaring example of how the power gets rid of its opponents, when someone doesn’tfill them with lead. The political use of justice is probably the most lethal weapon in the hands of Putin.

Weapon already well known. Last October, the organization Inostrannij Agent founded by Dutch activist Robert van Voren, released a list of 114 people detained in Russia. All of them are, according to the organization founded by van Voren, political prisoners accused of specious violations. By scrolling the list well-known faces and names appear among many others less known. There is Alexey Navalny, the so-called leader of nonexistent Russian opposition, and Anna Lepeshkina, one of the four free climbers last August have painted the big Soviet star on the " Stalin tower"  in Moscow with the colors of the Ukrainian flag. As well as many guys who were arrested after the Bolotnaya clashes in 2012. 

In addition, it is a weapon being refined with experience. "Putting a person in prison means creating a political martyr," said Ponomaryov trying to imagine the fate that awaits him. "After what happened withAlekseiNavalny, they started to understand this is not the right approach and just makes politicians more visible. As far as the outside world is concerned, the entire Russian elite operates according to the principle ‘out of sight, out of mind’."


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