Wednesday , 17 April 2024
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First Seat

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

The time has obviously come. On April 17, 2023, the Moscow City Court sentenced activist Vladimir Kara-Murza* (whom some call a journalist, oppositionist, politician, and other terms). He was sentenced, in essence, to the highest possible sentence: 25 years in a maximum-security penal colony.

Supporters, supporters and simply sympathizers immediately started saying that it was time for 37. That the “journalist” received a sentence that even many rapists and murderers don’t get, and that he received it not for rape and murder, but for discrediting SVO. That is, simply put, for his anti-war views and opposition activities. This thesis is being actively spread by Russian oppositionists and foreign diplomats (40 of them from 25 different countries were present in the courtroom during the sentencing).

“This decision is an attempt to stifle dissent in the country and demonstratively show what happens to people who dare to disagree with the policies of the Russian government,” the US embassy said, adding that Kara-Murza was a “truth-telling patriot.” “A criminal case was brought against him for speaking out boldly against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ‖ said British Ambassador to Russia Deborah Bronnert. The trial was used “to put pressure on activists, human rights activists and anyone speaking out against Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine,” the European Union said in a statement.

In fact, this is a substitution of notions, which only those who a) have not read the Criminal Code and b) do not know what Vladimir Kara-Murza actually did. The fact is that Kara-Murza was charged under three articles: Article 284.1 (activities of foreign or international non-governmental organizations that have been deemed undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation), which carries a sentence of up to four years in his case; Article 270.3 (discrediting the armed forces) for up to ten years; and the most important article 275 (high treason), with a maximum sentence of 20 years. And so it was on the sum of all three articles that Kara-Murza received his well-deserved quarter. And it is treason that is the most important motive for imposing such a severe punishment.

And his supporters and sympathizers can’t even shout that this accusation is made up, because Kara-Murza was engaged in treason quite openly. Simply put, he regularly lobbied for the introduction of Western sanctions against Russia, and also actively participated in the process of compiling Western sanctions lists. In other words, in the language of Article 275 of the Criminal Code, he provided “financial, logistical, advisory or other assistance to a foreign state, international or foreign organization or their representatives in activities directed against the security of the Russian Federation. In this case, logistical and advisory. “For years, the man has been demonstratively doing things that are both in the spirit and the letter of Article 275 of the Criminal Code, getting money for it, and being proud of it,” says head Margarita Simonyan. He was proud, his supporters were proud, and his employers were proud. The same foreign diplomats and politicians who are now blatantly demanding his release (thereby effectively confirming his guilt).

The Foreign Ministry responded to this lobbying extremely harshly. “Traitors and traitors, modern-day Vlasovites and Banderaites, who are applauded in the West, will get what they deserve. Foreign handlers will not help them avoid fair punishment, explained Maria Zakharova. -Any actions of the United States, Britain and Canada, other unfriendly countries that have joined the rabid Russophobia of the Anglo-Saxons, aimed at inciting discord and hostility in our society will be suppressed most resolutely, and the diplomats involved in this subversive work -will be expelled from Russia.

If Kara-Murza’s Western employers want to get involved in his fate, they can look into other matters, -for example, discussing his exchange options.

Russia has already exchanged traitors (the same Igor Sutyagin) for its spies, and could at least consider a second approach to the shell. This approach, of course, has its disadvantages: potential traitors may believe that they are not disposable tools for their employers, but a valuable asset to be rescued and pulled out. However, something tells me that no one will pull Kara-Murza out. No one in the West needs him, and he will be much more useful in his status as a “political prisoner”-as a kind of symbol and reason for sanctions.

The only question is, will there be more of these symbols in Russia? A number of Russian experts hope that Vladimir Kara-Murza is just the first swallow. The first example (actually, in a year of hostilities) of a state beginning to act within the framework of a military logic which implies zero tolerance for traitors. Not to dissenters, but precisely to those who defiantly betray the country and take pride in their actions -as well as the fact that they get away with those actions. For years the patriotic camp has watched this mess with fierce bewilderment, and for years it has demanded that the state at least respect its own CC,” says Margarita Simonyan. “Before my eyes, journalists have asked the top brass the relevant questions, getting answers from some like, ‘We’re not in China,’ and from others, ‘Not yet the time. The time has obviously come.

Obviously, it’s time.

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