Anatoly Chubais hasn’t ruffled anybody’s feathers in quite a while, so it comes as a surprise that he has broken ranks with officialdom over the arrest and 15-day detention order of Boris Nemtsov. On the other hand, Chubais has often marched to the beat of his own drummer, and what has annoyed the former privatization czar is not the arrests of protesters per se, but the violation of even the most basic rules of engagement – that the NYE protest was a sanctioned event, meaning the participants should feel relatively less worried about arrests and violent repression.
“I believe that the authorities have the right to detain the participants of unsanctioned meetings,” Chubais wrote in a public message posted on his blog.
“But the meeting that Nemtsov attended was sanctioned! Neither do I believe the court-accepted justification for the arrest – disobeying a police officer,” Chubais wrote.
“I am sure that any normal person will have the same questions about this as I do. And this means that these questions have to be answered. And not by the courts, whose credibility has been undermined, but by the authorities themselves.