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According to the most recent reports, the posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky, who died while in police custody, has been delayed further to a request from the defence for more time. What defence you ask? Well obviously defence attorneys selected by the state, so you can be assured of their objectiveness….

It beggars belief that President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev and other cronies would want to raise the spotlight on one of the most blatant instances of state corruption, when various state officials, including from the police, scammed tax payments to their benefit and then laid the blame with a foreign investor. Magnitsky had uncovered the crimes, only to be arrested on trumped-up charges and to die in mysterious circumstances in prison.

Medvedev, who was President at the time, promised to look into his death and to punish those responsible. Nothing has happened since. This led to sanctions on travel imposed by the USA against various Russian politicians

And now in response, the Russian authorities have decided to try a Russian citizen who died in police custody in Russia, an individual who had uncovered corruption, a well educated lawyer trying to make things better for everyone in Russia, representing a foreign investor (Hermitage Capital).

You would have thought that the Russian authorities, the Sechins of this world, would want to put this episode behind them. You would have thought that the powers that be in Russia would understand the adverse impact on Russia and the country’s investments.

You would have been wrong. This regime doesn’t care. The various clans in power have already stolen so much that they really don’t care what happens to Russia – they have already got their escape routes should they be required, buying property in Florida, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece.

If they did care, they wouldn’t try a dead man who was killed by the regime.

According to Russian business daily Vedomosti [12 November 2012), the Ministry for Economic Development has submitted a forecast on Russia’s socio-economic development to 2030. According to two versions of the forecast – innovation-based and forced, Russia may overcome the historic gap with the developed world both technologically and in terms of living standards by 2030, with oil & gas accounting for most of exports, with science and knowledge and not production serving as the basis for revenues.

According to Deputy Minister for Economic Development Andrei Klepach, the implementation of large-scale development projects will change the shape of the economy. He claims that this will not require any new innovation, but simple implementation of existing government programmes.

According to these scenarios, Russia will grow more rapidly than the global economy (4.1 or 5.4 per cent per annum from 2013-2030, compared to global growth of 3 per cent). GDP per capita will increase by 2020  from almost 60 per cent of the level of the eurozone to 78-87 per cent, and increase the European level by 2030 and will be 10 per cent less than in the USA.

Klepach admits that this can only be achieved if budget rules are alleviated. Interestingly, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a forecast on the global economy to 2060, which indicates that Russia will not reach European levels, owing in part to the ageing of the population.

 

So the Russian Orthodox Church and Putin’s regime can be content, demonstrating their lack of compassion or any conscience in their decision to exile two of the member’s of Pussy Riot to colonies in Perm and Mordovia for mocking Putin in a so-called place of worship. As reported in The Guardian, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova will serve sentences far from home.

How can the Orthodox Church pretend to be a church when it lacks such compassion? How can Putin claim to rule for all the Russian people when two young girls are exiled to harsh prisons?These girls didn’t kill anyone or cause anyone to be killed, whereas the powers that be in Russia and various republics have blood on their hands.

It is a sick joke, made all the sicker in that the powers that be, the powers defining state policy and issues of religious tolerance don’t care about their own people.

Both Alyokhina and Tolonnikova have young children of their own.

Shame on you, Putin, shame on you, United Russia, and last, but not least, shame on you, the Russian Orthodox Church.

An interesting article in Novaya Gazeta notes that amendments to the RF Criminal Code have led to the early release of three managers from the YUKOS years, primarily due to the persistence of the lawyers fighting for the enforcement of amendments introduced while Dmitry Medvedev was President.

This time former general director of YUKOS trading companies Vladimir Malakhovsky has been released on 9 October 2012 after seven years and 10 months in a pre-trial detention centre and prion colonies. He had been sentenced to 12 years in jail.

In August Alexei Kurtsyn was released after serving half his sentence. In February Vladimir Pereverzin was released early. Like Malakhovsky, he had been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

However, as the author notes, for some reason the amendments to the Code haven’t been applied to the main “culprits” in Vladimir Putin’s eyes: Mihail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.

 

 

 

This well argued comment from Foreign Policy http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/05/putins_miscalculation pinpoints the growing concern among President Putin’s entourage if the portrayal of events in Russia provided by the servile state media in Russia and Russia Today internationally is contradicted by facts showing the opposite to be true, in particular attempts to bring to light atrocities committed in the Caucauses. The article focuses on  the current onslaught on a researcher for Human Rights Watch Tanya Lokshina.

This heavy-handed approach would appear to reflect the schizophrenic state of the current Putin regime – nervousness at the sight of any rejection of state policy and at the same time a desire to clamp down and attempt to evoke the Stalinist past.

 

Like most people, I would hold that acting in a lewd manner in a place of worship is disgraceful.

However, nothing can excuse the sentence imposed on the members of Pussy Riot, whose appeal has been delayed, as reported in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/01/pussy-riot-appeal-hearing-delayed

Let’s face it – why were they arrested? For their behaviour in a place of worship or for singing a song in which they have the effrontery to criticise Putin?

Did they perform this act in a Catholic church, in a protestant church or in a synagogue?

No in an Russian Orthodox Church – a church in cahoots with the Putin regime and run by former/existing members of the KGB. Surely a church that preaches compassion should have dropped all charges against young girls, who didn’t understand the alleged seriousness of their “crime”?

The court case was clearly orchestrated and then the sentence – sending the girls to a prison colony? At the most they should have been given a suspended sentence, at the least – asked to perform community work.

However, that was not on the cards – they had committed a cardinal sin – to criticise his holiness, Putin.