News / Europe

    Russia Using Stalin-Era Tactics, Rights Group Says

    A bailiff stands in a room as people watch a live broadcast of a court hearing on members of the female punk band 'Pussy Riot' in Moscow October 10, 2012.A bailiff stands in a room as people watch a live broadcast of a court hearing on members of the female punk band 'Pussy Riot' in Moscow October 10, 2012.
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    A bailiff stands in a room as people watch a live broadcast of a court hearing on members of the female punk band 'Pussy Riot' in Moscow October 10, 2012.
    A bailiff stands in a room as people watch a live broadcast of a court hearing on members of the female punk band 'Pussy Riot' in Moscow October 10, 2012.
    VOA News
    A Russian human rights group says the country’s leaders are using tactics against the opposition that are reminiscent of those used under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin during the 1920s and 30s.
     
    In a statement Tuesday, rights group Memorial condemned a growing crackdown on opponents of President Vladimir Putin that has seen a growing protest movement and two members of an anti-Kremlin all-female punk band, Pussy Riot, sent to prison camps. Several opposition leaders have also been arrested and accused of plotting “mass riots.”
     
    The rights group said the events of recent weeks show that Russian authorities intend to rely on the “language of repression” in dialogue with the opposition, including arrests, courts and camps. It said that again, as in the 1920s and 30s, methods of “fabricating” political processes are in demand.

    The Kremlin has consistently maintained that it is operating within the law and is merely taking action against violent, unsanctioned protests in an attempt to strengthen security and keep the public safe.
     
    Memorial’s statement comes as Russia marks the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression. The annual remembrance day has been honored every October 30 since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. It commemorates the anniversary of Stalin’s so-called “Great Purge” of 1937, when millions of people were declared “enemies of the state” and sent to labor camps or executed without trial.
     
    Events are being held across Russia Tuesday and in other former Soviet states.
     
    Political analyst Sergei Karaganov, attending a remembrance service in Moscow, says he does not believe the situation in Russia will ever return to the extremes of the past.
     
    "It is bad, there are, and mostly likely will be, persecutions as the country is in a difficult transitional state. But, in my view, a return to the past is impossible. This is against people's genetic structure - the elimination of 30 million people (in the Soviet period),” Karaganov said.

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    Comments
         
    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    October 30, 2012 10:18 PM
    The Stalin’s tactics of putinites shows that the undemocratic regime is at its wits’ end and at the precipice. The turbulent Russian history has in store a winning tactics to oppose putinites. It was proposed by the teacher of J. Stalin – V.Lenin: to publish and widely distribute “Iskra” leaflets/newspaper. In the age of the Internet it’s a feasible endeavour. “Iskra” means that a sparkle should kindle fire. It should far and wide make known every misuse of the “law”, every bribe and extortion of money, every violation of basic human rights perpetrated by those of the regime. The wide civil discontent will force the regime to step down due to its inner inability to follow democratic norms.
    In Response

    by: Ragozzi from: St Petersburg
    November 01, 2012 8:22 PM
    Anyone who opposes Putin's government should be arrested for treason.

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