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Grigory Pasko: Russia’s Human Rights Straw Men

President of the RF Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Mikhail Fedotov as his advisor and chairman of the council under the head of state for contributing to the development of institutions of civil society and for human rights. As is known, the former advisor, Ella Pamfilova, left this post of her own desire on 30 July of this year. Later in commentaries she complained that she had simply gotten tired in the course of several years of enduring the endless baiting on the part of members of the ruling party «United Russia», activists of youth movements and certain representatives of the Kremlin. Meanwhile an unnamed “source in the Kremlin” was reporting to the mass information media that Ella Alexandrovna had in actuality gotten tired of the annoying requests of democrats and human rights advocates.

Whatever the case may be, but for two and a half months the position of adviser to the president was vacant, and the members of the council did not gather for their sessions. The majority of Russians, it seems, didn’t even notice this. And there are reasons for that. The fact is that this council never has managed to achieve any even remotely noteworthy accomplishments. Loud declarations, for example, to release Khodorkovsky-Lebedev or Sutyagin, this council, to the best of my knowledge, never did make. And in general, it looks like it perfectly suited the current power in the country.Why did they replace her all of a sudden? This we will find out, having analyzed the activity of the new adviser.May God grant that the rank-and-file citizens of the RF notice this activity of Mikhail Fedotov at his new post. I am acquainted with Mikhail Alexandrovich. A pleasant person of broad erudition. He has already promised: to stamp out the topic of Stalinism “from such spheres of the life of Russian society as education and upbringing, as well as the establishment of commemorative symbols”; to divest himself of the duties of head of the Center for Extreme Journalistics; to remain co-chairman of the Public Collegium for Complaints Against the Press and has said that «freedom of speech — is one of the fundamental human rights, on the one side. But on the other side, free and independent mass information media are one of the pillars of civil society».It is interesting to me for what reasons Mikhail Fedotov is going to leave this post and what CONCRETELY he will manage to accomplish at the new post of his?