Grigory Yavlinsky: The New Greatness case is an old villainy

24 July 2020

Grigory Yavlinsky, politician, founder of the Yabloko party

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Ekho Moskvy]

Only provocateurs, sadists, and rapists need to be tried in the New Greatness case. And in this case, they are all representatives of the state

The New Greatness case is fabricated. Neither investigators nor prosecutors are making any effort to hide this fact. As witnesses in the case they have brought in the four law enforcement officers who directly fabricated this criminal case. They were the ones who created the extremist organization, wrote its charter, drew in young people, instructed the recruited participants, and provoked them to make the statements that later incriminated them.

All the defendants are very young. At the time of her arrest, Anna Pavlikova was 17, Maria Dubovik 19, Vyacheslav Kriukov 20, Sergei Gavrilov and Ruslan Kostylenkov 25, Dmitri Poletaev 29, Rustam Rustamov 30, Pavel Rebrovsky 31, Petr Karamzin 32, and Maksim Roshchin 39. Under torture and threats some of those arrested confessed and made a deal with the investigation and some managed to escape house arrest. The young women kept in terrible conditions in the remand centre were diagnosed with serious illnesses. Torture was used against the young people, at least one of those arrested was raped by law enforcement officers. All this is the well-known methodology of Stalinist-Bolshevik terror, the instruments of NKVD punishers. It is an old villainy, not a “new greatness.”

The state prosecution has asked for the figures in the case to be sentenced to up to seven and a half years in a prison colony. But even the prosecutor’s office felt it was excessive to prosecute them under the article on “participation in an extremist association”; the prosecution was satisfied with “organization of an extremist association.” This only confirms the fact that there was no “extremist association” whatsoever, there was only the provocation law enforcement officers carried out for careerist purposes.

Indeed, it is extremely difficult to obtain legality and justice in a state where the Constitution and laws are rewritten overnight in order to zero out a term and then make that authority irremovable for life; where criminal cases are fabricated both on order, to settle scores, and at local initiative for better reporting; where torture has become a usual instrument of investigation; and where the authorities are returning to the Bolshevik model of running the country, a model based on hypocrisy and violence.

But even in this situation it is obvious that the intentional provocation of citizens by law enforcement agencies to engage in extremist activity is illegal and criminal. The New Greatness case must be stopped, the defendants must be fully exonerated and released, and all state employees party to the repulsive provocation must be brought to the strictest account.

In August 2018 I personally made the same demands to the Federal General Prosecutor regarding the New Greatness case. No answer was ever forthcoming, essentially. This does not mean, though, that one should be silent. Tens of millions of Russia’s citizens will find out about the provocations, falsifications, and torture — and they will demand an answer.

Translated by Marian Schwartz

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