13 December 2021
by Aleksandr Podrabinek
Ekaterina Mizulina, director of the Safe Internet League, has told everyone of her intention to ask the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Russian Ministry of Justice to look into the foreign funding of popular YouTube bloggers. Referring to the Internet blog NewsFront, she wrote that Yury Dud, Aleksei Pivovarov, Nikolai Sobolev, Eldar Dzharakhov, and Alisher Morgenstern may receive money from ‘foreign agents of influence.’
You probably think that Mizulina is a family name? No, it is not! It is a kind of official role. The person in that role is obliged to sniff out everything suspicious in public life and especially on the internet, and report them immediately to the law enforcement agencies. It’s a job, nothing personal.
THE MOTHER IS A THEORETICIAN; THE DAUGHTER IS A PRACTITIONER
Although snitching is by no means a new phenomenon, in today’s Russia, political denunciation has been put on a professional level by Elena Mizulina, the mother of the aforementioned director. As a lady of diminished political responsibility, she has been a member of all the major political parties – the CPSU, Yabloko, the SPS and A Just Russia. It is not for the founder of the role to engage in trivial matters, and so Mizulina the mother is knocking on doors in a big way: she calls for penalties for those phenomena in public life which, in her mind, spoil the beauty of the power vertical constructed by Putin.
She is the author or co-author of initiatives and bills against ‘gay propaganda,’ online profanity, divorce, abortion, surrogacy, foreign adoptions of Russian orphans, and numerous initiatives in the field of censorship. She is also known for her demands to recognize the leading role of Orthodoxy, to raise the ‘age of consent’ from 16 to 18, and to require a passport for Internet access, as well as her fierce irreconcilability so far as oral sex is concerned. In short, sheer obscurantism against a background of spiritual poverty and intellectual impotence.
Mizulina’s daughter is more concrete. She knocks personally. Recently a court, on her initiative, fined the rapper ElJey (Aleksei Uzeniuk) 100,000 roubles on a charge of drug propaganda. Even earlier, the Safe Internet League, headed by Mizulina Jr., had asked for OG Buda’s songs to be inspected. And her indifference to Dud and Morgenstern is such that this is not the first time the League has snitched on both of them – they have already been tried and fined on the basis of her denunciations.
What a great professional duo: the theoretician mother and the practitioner daughter! Putin’s Russia can be proud of its daughters. True, they are not the only ones in this field of activity.
NOWADAYS THERE ARE MANY MIZULINAS AT WORK
The TV propagandist Vladimir Soloviev, gasping hysterically, demands that law enforcement agencies pay attention to Oleg Kashin‘s alleged anti-state statements.
A month ago, State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov wrote a denunciation to the police about the scientific and educational portal Anthropogenesis.ru, dedicated to human evolution. In the activities of this scientific project Milonov saw propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and corruption of minors. Of course, all of this turned out to be the ravings of sexually obsessed homophobes, and even the police subsequently explained that, unfortunately, they were ‘obliged to respond’ because the author of the ravings had a parliamentary mandate.
Alas, it is not only lackeys of the authoritarian regime who aspire to the Mizulinas’ position. A week ago, Novosibirsk-based monk Ioann (Kurmoyarov) demanded that law enforcement agencies open a criminal case against defence minister Sergei Shoigu on charges of insulting the feelings of believers. The priest was offended by frescoes depicting NKVD officers and Communist symbols in the ministry of defence’s main church in Patriot Park. Murals depicting the persecutors of Christians do look horribly out of place in a Christian church, but is that a reason for a denunciation to the police?
Demands to shut someone up for ‘inciting enmity and hatred’ are sometimes heard coming from human rights activists, which would seem very strange. But the virus of denunciations is very contagious, affecting people of all political stripes. Of course, not everyone is ready to work as a professional and full-time Mizulina, but even amateur snitching greatly spoils the atmosphere of public life.
Translated by Simon Cosgrove