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Mass media / News

From cats to Ustinov. Ksenia Kirillova – about the boundaries of solidarity

Radio Liberty 06.10.2019 at 06:45

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

On 30 October, the Moscow city court changed the sentence to the young actor Pavel Ustinov in the case of the attack on the employee of Regardie during a rally in Moscow on 3 August. Assigned to one year of imprisonment conditionally. The panel of the court determined to change the category of serious crimes on average. Thus Paul's defense Ustinov intends to continue to achieve its full justification. Business Ustinov on the resulting resonance is compared with the detention of the journalist of "Medusa" Ivan Golunova. As in the protection of Golunova, in support of Ustinov were not only dissidents, human rights activists and "colleagues on shop", but also loyal to the current government figures. So, the chief editor of RT Margarita Simonyan called the case against Ustinov unfair, and the Deputy of the State Duma Sergei Shargunov appealed to the Prosecutor General of Russia with a request to consider the possibility of appealing the sentence. Even the Secretary of the General Council of the party "United Russia" Andrey Turchak said he believes the verdict "a gross injustice". In the end, Ustinov at large, that referred to as at least a partial victory for civil society. However, other members of the "Moscow case" are still behind bars, including the patron of the other political prisoners Konstantin Kotova, sentenced to 4 years. The appeal against sentence Kotov scheduled for October 14. Part of the opposition activists and commentators have called for the intercession of Ustinov, in many respects became the reason for his release, "degradation of the protest." In particular, speak and write about the fact that Ustinov was the random victim of repression, emphasized his apolitical and wasn't even planning to attend the opposition rallies than to other supposedly opposed to the innocently convicted that are openly against the Kremlin. Arkady Babchenko, for example, blames "Russian liberals" is that they are massively stood up for those loyal to the regime, whereas the people who went to the protest and the victims for his civil position, has received far less support. On the one hand, some truth in such accusations have. Many, not previously demonstrated active citizenship, or even speaking in support of the government, it is easier to associate themselves with the random victim of tyranny, in the place which could be any than with the specific position of a specific dissident. That is why the circle supported Ustinov was wider than the circle of support of other participants "the Moscow business". However, the situation is not so straightforward. First, the support of Ustinov brand does not exclude support of other political prisoners. In an unprecedented appeal to more than 150 priests are usually as loyal to the authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church in defense of the participants of the "Moscow case" is mentioned only one name – Kotova, not Ustinov. Moreover, the authors list specific actions Kotova, in particular the intercession of the political prisoners and calls for the exchange of prisoners with Ukraine, and give them a clear assessment as worthy and positive. Second, in addition to the authorities loyal patron for Ustinov stepped in and the dissidents. Protection of person who made a different choice than you, is just an indicator of the highest forms of solidarity. Yes, and Ustinov, not previously involved in politics, not only thanked everyone who fought for his release, but said in the end about the support of other accused in the "Moscow business". In addition, in this case we are talking not only about a particular person, but the offensive power of one of the last remaining in the current conditions of rights – the right, even in abnormal, harsh conditions to choose their own destiny. It is in any case does not mean that the repression of "conscious" participants in the protests were justified. It just means that, deciding to speak out in defense of their own or others rights and values, each of about could imagine what he was going. I know firsthand how much easier tolerated the repression, persecution and deprivation, when they're the result of your conscious choice – and, opposite as it is harder to endure sudden bumps that you weren't ready. Where there is intercession, only for their own kind, it is impossible to exercise this charity and solidarity, or even really effectively confront the dictatorship's Protest against the conviction of the innocent does not mean that other participants of the "Moscow business" was to blame for the fact that the peaceful expression of their opinions fell under the steamroller of repression. However, the success of any protest depends on how clear the need for such a protest is understood and shared by different segments of the population. The fact that the victims in Russia could be very casual – perhaps one of the few chances to unite the fragmented society. For many unpleasant understanding that loyalty and non-participation is no guarantee of security, was a sobering factor, and because of the publicity accompanying the case Ustinova, good is the fact that helps previously remained aloof to discover the true bonds of modern Russia. While it would be naive to expect that such a discovery made comparatively recently immediately solidarists with the "dissidents" on all other matters. However, the yesterday's release of "guardians" out of the comfort zone and the situation where they are forced to criticize the government is a positive factor, judging by the consequences, frightened the Kremlin. Konstantin Kotov in its activities does not divide victims of the regime on a more or less radical and does not believe any of the victims of tyranny "unworthy" of intercession. He's one of the few that advocated the liberation of the Crimean Tatars and Oleg Sentsov, were in jail transfer is captured in the Kerch Strait Ukrainian sailors, at the same time actively helping the supporters of Alexei Navalny and protesting against the rejection of independent candidates for elections to the Moscow city Duma. He consistently opposed all types of tyranny and lawlessness and compassion for each of his sacrifice. Maybe that is why range of people, expressing solidarity with Constantine, so wide, despite the fact that he has no well-known fellow actors or journalists, despite the fact that the sentence was more than expected in the current environment, and therefore looked, maybe less blatant. However, Kotov was supported not only by colleagues in the protest movement, but already freed Ukrainian sailors, Crimean Tatars and even Orthodox priests. And I think that if he were free, Constantine would support Pavla Ustinov exactly the same as supporting all the others, known and unknown, "comfortable" and "uncomfortable". Where there is intercession, only for their own kind, it is impossible to exercise this charity and solidarity, or even really effectively confront the dictatorship. Ksenia Kirillova is a journalist who lives in the USA Made in the heading "Blogs" opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher