Moscow has repeatedly defended its antidemocratic domestic policies by arguing Russia has its own "path to democracy," and that all nations must build democracies that are unique to their cultural heritages.
While some observers expected this sort of divisiveness to be toned down after Dmitry Medvedev -- who rarely misses a chance to point out that he is a lawyer by training -- became president, it has in fact been ramped up in recent weeks. Moscow has renewed its calls for phasing out The Hague war crimes tribunal, saying it is fatally "biased."
Perhaps most importantly, the quasi-official Russian Orthodox Church last month adopted its Basic Principles of the Russian Church on Human Dignity, Freedom, and Rights. The document, which was partially drafted by Kremlin insider and Eurasianist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin, called for a "reexamination" of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It says Western notions of human rights do not apply to Russia and should be replaced by Orthodox principles. It also asserts that civilizations "should not impose their lifestyle patterns on other civilizations." The document clearly prioritizes the rights of society over the rights of individuals.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Via RFE/RL (Robert Coalson):