7 July 2021
Hi, I’m Dmitry Zair-Bek from Team 29!
Last week, national TV called Team 29 an ‘undesirable organisation.’ An astonishing concentration of fakery in two modest words. First, we are perfectly desirable. Second, we are not an organisation. But first things first.
Freedom of Information Society
Six years ago the lawyer Ivan Pavlov was among the founders of an NGO founded to promote the concept of freedom of access to information. The organization was registered in the Czech Republic and is named in accordance with its sphere of work: ‘Freedom of Information Society’. It was this organisation that was included in the register of so-called undesirable organizations. We have no connection with this NGO, so we cannot be branded as undesirable. Team 29 cannot be a contractor or partner of undesirable organisations and receive money from them, we always comply with the Russian law, even if we don’t like some of the laws adopted in recent years.
Also, a note to propagandists: Ivan Pavlov also founded the Hunting and Fishing Fan Club – what a godsend! We are waiting for a story about undesirability of fishing. Or hunting. Or even better, all at once, because such an unpleasant lawyer as Pavlov surely cannot do anything desirable in his spare time.
And finally: Team 29 is not an organisation. We are not registered as such, we have no charter, rules, and so forth. We are a free association of lawyers and journalists, a project if you will. So once again, congratulations to the propagandists for lying.
Just spies everywhere
The case of our client, the journalist Ivan Safronov, is being investigated by a very strange man. His name is Aleksandr Chaban and he has the rank of an FSB colonel. It would seem that an FSB officer of such rank would not believe in conspiracy theories. However, the department of State Security is an unusual place and the people who work there are accordingly, rather quirky. In providing reasons to keep Safronov in pre-trial detention, Investigator Chaban stated that if Ivan were released, foreign intelligence services would take him to NATO countries. Furthermore he added that 230 individuals who have vouched for Ivan also served as one of the reasons (note this!) to prolong his detention. God only knows how all this is linked together in the mind of the FSB colonel. However, the wording was exactly that.
Lawyers from Team 29 called for the conspiracy theorist in uniform to be recused. Altogther, Aleksandr Chaban said a great many things. In his opinion we are, and I quote, ‘a project of foreign intelligence agencies’’ and the lawyers and advocates of our Team are trained by the intelligence agencies of other countries and, of course, for this we shall be put in prison. Well, dream on, dear Colonel!
Watch Listen and Read
Stanislav Belkovsky, a political scientist and commentator, was the guest of the most recent issue of ‘The Team’. The head of our media department, Maksim Zagorova, spoke with him about geopolitics. Russia’s relations with the West in the past, present and future, the possibility of forming a multipolar world and a look back at history – you can see all of this in a conversation with Stanislav on our YouTube channel.
🔊 This week’s Russian Precedent podcast is about the fresh ban on comparing the USSR to the Third Reich. Is there any room left for discussion of the history of the Great Patriotic War? What do we do with fiction and movies that feature Nazi heroes? How do we now assess the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? We discuss these topics with historian Nikita Petrov and our lawyer Artem Kutlovsky.
And finally, Team 29’s literary project. Today we publish the story Sashka by Yulia Petropavlovskaya about a childhood friendship and a little about ruthless state healthcare. It’s just been published on our site – read it soon!
Desirable at any party
Dmitry and Team 29
Translated by Simon Cosgrove