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Grigory Pasko: A Power So Cowardly

The Power Is so Cowardly that it Fears Everything… By Grigory Pasko, journalist The cowardice of the Putin regime has recently manifested itself particularly vividly in the decision to get the State Duma to vote on a bill that would prohibit rallies and processions for two weeks before elections and two weeks after elections. Having understood that they’d overstepped even their own boundaries, the Putinites refused to take this decision. …The power, of course, is afraid of Khodorkovsky. Indeed, it is afraid of all smart, brave, decisive, and independent people. And I will never believe that Putin’s sidekicks had nothing to do with the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. It was beneficial precisely for the Putin power to have her killed, because it is precisely the Putin power that fears those such as Anna.

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Another way you can see that the power is afraid is from its continual loud protestations that it’s not afraid. Here, for example, is the opinion on the filing of new charges against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev of Nikolai Bezborodov, member of the committee of the State Duma for defense (“United Russia” faction): “Nobody is afraid of anything. With the new charges, the state wants to show that Russia is entering into the market economy on civilized conditions. While the intensification of security measures is to protect Khodorkovsky himself; after all, surely there will be found those who will want to provoke disorders”. The whole world has already noticed what unprecedented security measures the filing of the new charges against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev was accompanied by. What for? Bezborodov – no doubt just like those who adopted the decision about the mask-show with machine guns – considers that this is “for the sake of Khodorkovsky himself”. They might have added that the next victim, following in the footsteps of Politkovskaya and Litvinenko, might be Khodorkovsky. That’s why they say they’re protecting him and this is, after all, in his own interests. I will allow myself to assert that such a position is a brazen-faced lie. I’ve already encountered it before. In the strict-regime prison camp where I was sent after trial, rumors reached me (they were probably intentionally sent to me) that someone wanted me killed. This was on the eve of a court hearing on granting me early release on parole. I declared to the camp administration that I was fed up with these rumors, and that the administration was wasting its time sending its snitches out to spread them. The administration’s reaction was immediate. The deputy chief of the colony for security proposed that I go to… the punishment isolator. For my own well-being and my own security, you see. Nobody would be able to get me there, in the punishment isolator. In so doing, naturally, the officer neglected to mention that placement in the punishment isolator would automatically mean I could kiss my parole goodbye, along with meetings with lawyers and family members. Work with documents… I categorically refused. And here’s why. From talks with experienced people, I already knew that no placement in the camp’s punishment isolator could protect someone with a contract out on him. While all of these so-called “security measures” were in actuality directed against the arrestee, against his mental strength. Because all these machine gunners, mask shows, and faces with moronic expressions – all of this is called upon only to mentally break the prisoner, to force him to be nervous and worried, to make mistakes during the time of studying documents at the investigation or in court. It is precisely this array of lawlessness that we’re seeing today with respect to Khodorkovsky and Lebedev. It is therefore not difficult to assume that the new court examination with respect to the new charges will also take place in that same faraway, godforsaken Chita. And the power couldn’t care less about the violations of legality that inevitably arise – and have already arisen! – in connection with such a strange and wild attitude towards the two arrestees. Arrestees whom the power is afraid of very much and for a very long time. I agree fully with the opinion of Alexander Konovalov, president of the Institute of strategic studies [and analysis], who noted: “…It would seem, should one fear the appearance of a strong opposition party? Nevertheless, never before have preparations for an election campaign been so thorough as now. Of course, if Khodorkovsky and Lebedev get another term, the power will feel itself calmer. Maybe because in Khodorkovsky is seen a political threat”. And, of course, I agree with the opinion of Khodorkovsky’s lawyer, Yuri Schmidt, which he expressed during the time of our recent meeting in Chita: “The power is persecuting Khodorkovsky because it is afraid of him. Because it has seen: he did not bow down in defeat, but has continued the fight”. The power doesn’t like independent people. But even more, it doesn’t like those who resist – those who do not lose their freedom and independence even when they’re thrown in a cage.