At Maidan, Halya Coynash writes about the mounting terror in the Russian Federation. Excerpt:
Those who ordered and who carried out the murder of Anna Politkovskaya remain at large, as do those guilty of many similar crimes against Russian journalists, human rights defenders and civic activists. There have been calls for a thorough investigation into the killing of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova. This is quite correct and to be wholeheartedly endorsed.
Only nobody expects them to find the killers. A young Chechen refugee, Umar Israilov, was gunned down a week ago in Vienna. There were equally correct calls for the Austrian authorities to investigate given the allegations the young man had made against the current Kremlin-supported President of the Chechen Republic. However, if their investigations hit another dead end as did the British investigation into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, what then?
How many more people need to die in Russia before others are fully terrified into meek submission? How many more killings will the world tolerate on other countries’ territory?
20 January marked a very special day for the USA and the world. It was a day many of us who grew up knowing Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech never imagined we would live to see.
It is almost 20 years since the events which culminated in the freeing of Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet empire. The latter also seemed impossible to dream of in our lifetime. The world hailed the victory of democratic values in the new republics. Everybody knows that momentous change comes hard and we all knew that stumbling steps, not strides, were to be expected.
However what is happening in Russia, still ruled to a large extent by Vladimir Putin who openly called the breakdown of the USSR the greatest catastrophe of the twentieth century, is about the systematic destruction of the fragile buds of democracy, and in many aspects a return to methods not seen for decades. We are seeing the State using aggression, terror and repression against its own people and against any whom it regards as its enemies.