Dmitry Sidorov’s Animal Farm

orwell061110.jpgDmitry Sidorov’s latest op/ed in Forbes is a vitriolic, no-holds-barred rant, but he’s right that at least somebody should be angry about the Russian officers who stole credit cards from the dead at the Polish president’s air crash site.  I wouldn’t necessarily draw a straight line from this odious act all the way up to the top, but there is a conversation which needs to happen about why anti-corruption and police reform never make any progress in Russia’s power structure.

The four soldiers stole a credit card from one of the dead Polish officials and put it to work for four days. If these conscripts–hungry, sleep-deprived, beaten by officers and their comrades-in-arms, perhaps even prostituting themselves in order to make enough money to eat–get their day in court, the question of human dignity and rights will emerge once again, sending us back to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where the pigs set the rules.

This is not a discussion theKremlin wants to have. Since Putin became Russia’s undisputed leader, hehas rapidly eliminated critique and dissent. On the propaganda frontthe Kremlin has tens, or hundreds, of thousands of sheep capable ofendlessly bleating “Putin and Medvedev are good, the opposition is bad.”(…)

The cops and the criminals work the streets, while their comrades fromthe FSB ( the former KGB) stalk the corridors of power. Their occupationis a wonderful combination of the Animal Farmdogs who protect the leader, and the 1984 thought police, whileat the same time they run protection rackets for big businesses with asilent nod from the top.