Grigory Pasko: Déjà Vu with Putin in Paris


I’m listening to Putin, who’s in Paris, and I’m thinking: either I’ve got déjà vu, or he’s got it…

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Paris. 27 November 2009. Mr. V.Putin’s press conference. An answer to a journalist’s question on account of the confined-in-jail M.Khodorkovsky:

“In our country the activity of certain of our figurants with respect to criminal cases has caused harm to Russia in the billions of dollars… Besides that, there is also a claim from the point of view specifically of an attempt on the life and health of concrete people in the course of their, so-called, commercial activity, and these acts, these episodes are proven by a court”.

Now, those of you who follow trials initiated by certain persons in the name of the Russian state will no doubt recall that Mikhail Khodorkovsky wasn’t accused of attempts on somebody’s life or somebody’s health. And will remember that his activity really was decidedly commercial, without any add-ons like “so-called”. And will recall than by no court was his involvement in attempts been proven.

In connection with this press conference personally I remembered yet another one. (I’m not comparing myself with Khodorkovsky. Just comparing two situations).

Paris. 15 January 2002. Mr. V.Putin’s press conference. An answer to a journalist’s question on account of the my second confinement in jail:

“This problem is of a purely juridical character. Candidlyspeaking, I am not submersed in it so deeply. I know only that lodgedagainst mister Pasko is a charge in connection with him having passeddocuments with the classification “secret” for consideration torepresentatives of a foreign state. This fact proper isn’t even beingcontested by anybody, in my mind, even by his lawyers”.

Now, those of you who followed the trial initiated in relation to meby certain persons in the name of the Russian state will remember wellthat the court in December of the year 2001 in the verdict noted that Ihad NOT transferred documents, all the more so for consideration. Mr.Putin could not have not known this, just like he could not have notknown that ALL the facts of my charge were contested by me and mylawyers both then, are contested now as well, even after the decisionof the European Court of Human Rights.

I, of course, understand that falsehood, as Jerzy Lec noticed, isn’tany different from the truth, except that it’s not. But you shouldn’tmock the truth to such an extent of publicness! Or does the Russianpremier think that no one will notice his false messages?

I’ll pass on the general phrases of the so-called lawyer Putin abouta so-called rule-of-law state… These phrases nauseate me. I will merelynote that to lie – is not good. No doubt papa with mama had said thisnot once to little Vova. Apparently this one slipped past his ears …

…Which is why he walks in trousers, a watch and drives a horse.

• V.Vysotsky’s Ballad of Truth and Falsehood
Listen here