There’s an incisive piece by Leonid Bershinsky on Bloomberg today, which discusses the intricacies of the two fraud cases against anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, who – by the state’s own admission – is the subject of persecution thanks to his political activities. Bershinsky puts the charges into the context of a wider business perspective, thereby calling their absurdity into plain view. Navalny is effectively being persecuted for normal business activity, he says.
The cases have attracted attention both for their political motivation and for their troubling portrayal of the normal business activities of an intermediary as a felony. “It is time for the people on the Forbes rich list to take to Red Square with signs saying ’The Navalny Case Is a Case Against Me,’” Maxim Mironov, an economist at the IE Business School in Madrid, wrote on Slon.ru. “If one looks at them closely, both the Kirovles case and the postal case regard as a crime the principle ’buy cheap, sell dearly.’ And this is the basic principle of the market economy.”