Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sadly Russia’s Political Trajectory Emulates Entire World’s Exclusionary Elitism

  Headlined Prosecutors Charge Protest Movement Leader The New York Times reporter ELLEN BARRY, with contributed reporting from Moscow by Anna Tikhomirova, wrote today Russian prosecutors charged the blogger and anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny with embezzlement. A statute that carries a sentence of five to ten years in prison, and is, as The Times states, the Kremlin’s most direct measure to date against a leader of the protest movement that publicly erupted in Moscow in December. The State Investigative Committee accused Mr. Navalny of organizing a scheme to steal timber from a state-owned company, called KirovLes, when he was acting as an unpaid adviser to the governor of the Kirov region, resulting in losses of just under $500,000 to the regional budget. Mr. Navalny was released on his own recognizance but signed a promise to not leave Moscow while charges are pending. The Times reiterated this charge marks a threshold for President Vladimir V. Putin, who for 12 years as paramount leader has refrained from criminal prosecutions of activist leaders, sidelining them with softer methods such as short-term detentions and limited access to television. But the charges on Tuesday suggest the Kremlin is eager to limit Mr. Navalny’s impact now, outweighing the risk of a political backlash. As Mr. Navalny emerged from Tuesday’s hearing, he called the charges “absurd and very strange.” Comparing the accusations to the case against Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the oil magnate and Putin rival who has been in prison since 2003 on tax evasion charges. Mr. Navalny said, “All these jokes that Khodorkovsky stole all the oil and Navalny stole all the timber, basically reflects what has happened today. As far as I can tell, the single idea behind this is that people watching the news on the first channel can hear on the news that Navalny stole 16 million rubles.” The KirovLes deal, which dates to 2009, was the basis of a previous criminal charge against Mr. Navalny, which was closed earlier this year by investigators in the Volga region. Mr. Navalny received documents informing him that he was no longer under suspicion and his legal expenses would be reimbursed. But a statement Tuesday from the investigative committee, the main federal investigative authority, said the embezzlement case was opened after the files from the earlier case were transferred to Moscow, and augmented by “financial analysis and investigative materials, which confirm Mr. Navalny’s participation in the execution of a crime.” Mr. Navalny said he believed the case had been revived in the wake of an unexpectedly large demonstration on May 6, on the eve of Mr. Putin’s inauguration, culminating in clashes between riot police and members of the crowd. Last week, he accused Russia’s chief federal investigator, Aleksandr I. Bastrykin, of secretly owning real estate and other investments in Europe. Whereas in the United States you can openly head a free enterprise participant in the military industrial complex before becoming the nation’s vice-president involved in propagating a war that financially benefits that firm, thereby producing rewarding returns on their investment in a prime mover and manipulative shaker who, according to his resume, may have never labored an actual day in his life. The Times says Mr. Navalny said the Kremlin was calculating that the protest movement was weakening and testing the waters with a series of actions against participants in the May 6 march. The 16th such indictment took place on Friday when investigators identified a university student who they said had wrestled other protesters from the hands of security forces and resisted the police. And the fact is Russia’s security services are strong and large enough to one step at a time shut down the country’s protests that would then leave the population cowering before the nation-state. Mr. Navalny said, “They are doing it to watch the reaction of the protest movement and of Western public opinion. So far they consider both of these things acceptable and so they are continuing along this line.” Uh huh.
7/31/2012
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Month Day - ..., 20187
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7/31/2012 concluded: Uh huh.

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