Since Ella Pamfilova’s resignation from the President’s Human Rights Council, she has turned her attention to NGO work. RFE/RL catches up with her in a revealing interview that includes insights into her former role, the difficulties she faced when working with the government, and her views on the current political situation. She says that ‘under the supposedly more liberal Medvedev’, her job became more difficult due to direct pressure from Vladislav Surkov, who ‘had taken everything under his control — except the council.’
[…] at some point the struggle just seemed senseless. Surkov — his ideology, his scorched-earth political methods — didn’t exist in a vacuum. They were demanded by the system. That is why I think it is disingenuous of many political analysts to try to split the ruling elite into two components — “liberal” and “authoritarian.”
The paradox is that after Medvedev became president, he accepted more of our proposals than ever before but reactions to them on the part of government agencies and concrete results were fewer than ever.