This week our guest on the podcast is Georgy Satarov, president of the INDEM Foundation. Under President Yeltsin, Georgy Satarov was a member of the Presidential Council and, in 1993, he took part in the constitutional assembly on drafting a new constitution. We asked him to comment on the new Russian constitution recently adopted in Russia. During the conversation, we talk about the new Constitution in its historical and political context – and what it means for the protection of human rights in Russia. But this is not all we talked about, as you will hear.
The podcast is in the Russian language.
The music is from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, played here by Karolina Errera.
Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: Georgy Alexandrovich Satarov, our guest on this week’s podcast, was a participant of the Constitutional Assembly on drafting of the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation. For that reason most of our conversation was devoted to the event that took place this year – the adoption of a new Russian Constitution. In the podcast Georgy Satarov talked about why the Kremlin needed to suddenly rewrite the Basic Law of the country, how it was done, and who was behind this process.
Georgy Satarov shared his memories, for example, that attempts to rewrite the constitution began long ago – a new model of governing the country was born in the heads of Putin’s officials almost twenty years ago. New articles were inserted that contradicted the first two chapters. The first changes may have been insignificant but the trouble was that the constitution was gradually being ignored. However, the biggest problem for the Kremlin – according to Satarov – has been the dependence of Russian law on international law. The desire to get rid of this subordination, according to our interlocutor, was one of the main reasons why the Basic Law has been rewritten.
The topic of human rights was intertwined with other topics in our conversation yesterday: the protests in Khabarovsk, the Prokopyeva case, the arrest of Ivan Safronov, and the Yury Dmitriev case. Georgy Aleksandrovich thinks that a new round of repression appears to be a logical conseequence following the adoption of the new Constitution. Now obstacles that may have cooled the fervour of those willing to put pressure on civil society have been removed. However, Georgy Aleksandrovich is not at all sure that all the Kremlin’s actions will lead to a final victory for the authorities. A feeling of offended self-esteem, in his opinion, may prove to be very strong among the citizens of Russia.
Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.