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Grigory Pasko: The Five Year Prison Plan

Five-year plan in prison On 25 October of the year 2003 Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested Grigory Pasko, journalist Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда. On 27 October of the year 2005 the press-center of the lawyers of Mikhail Khodorkovsky issued a statement from Mikhail Khodorkovsky (in Russian and English). In it, in part, was said: “Our country is facing great challenges. It is necessary to move the program for Russian development into the 21st century. It is necessary to build the army and law-enforcement system anew. To create from the ground up another bureaucracy that is interested in the fate of both state and society, rather than in unrestrained personal enrichment. It is necessary to abandon the fatal path of Russia’s transformation into an official source of raw material and make a decisive turn towards the new “knowledge economy.” It is necessary to keep as part of Russia the Far East and Siberia, which may fall under China’s control within a few years. It is necessary to rebuild Russia’s place and image in the world, which have been lost as a result of the lack of professionalism and sometimes of direct betrayal.khodorkovsky092208.jpg

This 25th of October of the year 2008, I am getting the impression that this three-year-old statement by Khodorkovsky had been carefully read by representatives of the Putin team. And not just read: conclusions were reached and practical steps taken towards the realization of the «Khodorkovsky Plan». (In contrast to «Putin’s Plan», about which so much was spoken but which nobody has ever actually seen or read).And so. Item 1. Formulate a program. Recently at a session of the government Putin read something out and said that this – is the program for the development of the country to the year 2020. Details never did percolate down to the press, because everything Putin touches instantly turns into a “special operation”. That is, we don’t know the details of the development, but we do know that they do supposedly exist somewhere there, deep in the bowels of the Putin government.Item 2. Rebuild the army and law-enforcement system. Medvedev, having visited a military training area near Orenburg in September of this year, formulated no fewer than five principles for this latest reforming of the army of the RF, essentially assuming to build it «anew»: the principles contain everything that is subject to reforming – from weapons to footwraps, that is uniforms [Russian soldiers are not issued or permitted to wear socks; they are required to wrap their feet with a length of standard-issue cloth—Trans.].Things haven’t yet gotten as far as the law-enforcement organs. And, I think, they probably never will: Putin and his team have long been perfectly happy with the fact that the police, the procuracy, and other organs loyally serve Putin and his team. That’s enough for them. But Medvedev did declare about «legal nihilism».Item 3. Create a new bureaucracy from the ground up. Inasmuch as the old bureaucracy suits Putin just fine, so too here (see previous Item relative to the law-enforcement organs) nothing will change. But president Medvedev has on more than on occasion uttered nice-sounding words about new officials who will be able to use a computer, and about the necessity of creating a «cadre reserve».Item 4. Keep the Far East as part of Russia. Recently Medvedev with his team spent some time in the far East and formulated practically the same task: to develop and preserve. They say that Medvedev was in shock from the poverty he saw in the Far East. True, I never did see any concrete measures for «development and preservation». If you don’t count the time when speaker of the Federation Council Mironov proposed increasing the size of pensions for residents of the Far East.Item 5. «It is necessary to rebuild Russia’s place and image in the world…» Here, Georgia’s «aggression and genocide» in relation to poor and luckless South Ossetia suddenly appeared as if though on cue. Russia defeated Georgia and saved the Ossetians. And at the same time it also (as Putin and Medvedev think, and as their mass information media say from morning till night) rebuilt its image.Further in his address Mikhail Khodorkovsky, it is true, spoke about how in orderto meet such large-scale goals «the country needs a new political elite. Heroes, not conformists. Courageous, honest and consistent individuals».With this, of course, things are a bit problematic. Because the country is being run by those whom Putin and his entourage all these past eight years had put into leadership positions, selecting not from the intelligent, the brave, and the enterprising, but from members of the «Ozero» cooperative [An exclusive high-security residential community outside St. Petersburg where Vladimir Putin owns a home. The other members of the cooperative, mostly biznes-men who amassed their wealth around the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Putin was working in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office, are close personal friends of Putin’s and today all hold important patronage posts in the Russian government and related structures, essentially forming a new class of oligarchs.—Ed.]. You would think that once they’ve started carrying out the «Khodorkovsky Plan» already, they should release Mikhail Khodorkovsky from captivity: let him bring the plan to life. But for this is required that «a hero, not a conformist» adopt the decision. Only where are we going to find ourselves such a hero?…All this is to say that in Russia, many truly intelligent and decent people around Putin turned out to be out of the picture: some have left beyond the border and are increasing the GDP of other peoples with their brains; others are sitting quietly in Russia, engaged in who knows what; yet others, like Khodorkovsky, while away their days in prison.But the country, in the meantime, really does need heroes. Recently the Kremlin came up with the idea of creating a new party on the base of the collapsed rightist SPS, but they weren’t able to find any heroes to be the leaders of this party: just the same old political technologist Gozman and the completely unknown Bovt and Titov. And just look at how the heads of state corporations and agencies are appointed: they take the same old deck of cards containing the same old bureaucrats and shuffle it a few times. This is why it’s always the same old people – all those Fradkovs-Cherkesovs-Chubaises-Zubkovs – who are always running anything and everything, one after another, like some game of musical chairs… At least it looks like they’ve got it all figured out once and for all with presidents: Putin was replaced by Medvedev, in a couple of years – they’ll switch places, then they’ll switch again… At least there’s some kind of stability someplace in the country.«The time of conformists is passing – the time of Heroes is coming», – thus, pathetically, wrote in his statement in the year 2005 Mikhail Khodorkovsky.Time truly is passing. Behold, even Mikhail Borisovich himself has already sat behind bars for five years for no rhyme or reason.The time of the conformists is passing, but the conformists remain and don’t go away. And whatever kind of conformists we have – that’s the kind of times we live in.