Rule of Law in russia

In my latest article for RT, which you can read here, I discuss Russia’s relationship with the European Court of Human Rights, and the possibility that Russia will quit the Council of Europe so as to withdraw itself from the court’s jurisdiction. I argue that it would be a shame if Russia did decide to do this. The evidence does not suggest that the court is biased against Russia, and many Russians have benefitted from it being there to protect their rights. I suggest that,

The problem with a number of Russian leaders, throughout history, is that they have tended to want to make their subordinates accountable to the law, while at the same time not wanting the same accountability to apply to themselves.

I conclude that Russian president Vladimir Putin should avoid going down the same path himself.

Of course, many people think that he went down that path long ago, and I was interested to see a couple of pieces this week that also address issues of the rule of law in Russia.

The first is an NBC News interview with exiled billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In this Khodorkovsky says, ‘Putin is a typical mafia godfather, a typical head of a crime syndicate.’

The second is a piece in Meduza that discusses liberal economic reform during Putin’s first presidency, and in particular the role of two important officials, Alexei Kudrin and Herman Gref. The article reports the following:

Kudrin and Gref pushed for new things like a tax of mineral mining. According to Gref, major oil companies were not happy with the proposal. He says that a representative of the company Yukos approached him on the night before the new law was to be discussed by the Duma and told him that they’d made an agreement with all of the deputies. As a result, the ministers were given a choice: they could either not take the proposal to parliament, or they could ‘be taken out [feet first]’. … Gref called Kudrin and found out that he’d also been visited and threatened. … In the end the legislation failed miserably.

So, who was it who owned this oil company, Yukos, which suborned parliamentary deputies and threatened senior officials? Well, golly gosh, it was none other than Khodorkovsky, the same man who accuses Putin of being a ‘mafia godfather.’

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

43 thoughts on “Rule of Law in russia”

  1. I wonder, how many Yellow Vest detainees tried going to ECHR, and how many succeded? What about Catalon indepencence protesters? Anti-lockdown protesters in any Western European country?

    The big issue here are politically charged cases. You including the passage about Greece is precisely the point: there these interim measures were (most likely) used for intended purpose; stopping deportations before ECHR can decide if it would be legal do deport. The usage of interim measures in Navalny case was, on the other hand, obviously political in nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just finished reading the RT piece and skimmed the first 30 or so comments. RT commenters are uniformly opposed to the argument made, and the commentary is actually, surprisingly, good. (One usually has low expectations for RT commenters.)

    Here are a few points I picked out from the comments, which I agree with, by the way (I think Russia should withdraw from this court, if nothing else on the grounds that it is controlled by American/NATO interests:

    “How many judgements did the ECtHR issue against European states who are members of NATO and who participated in aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999, against Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and in that coup d’etat against Yanukovich in Kiev in 2014 ? Its demand that embezzler Navalny be released from prison because his safety could not be guaranteed is laughable. Russia should indeed analyze it’s position in the Council of Europe and take appropriate actions.”

    “A number of worthy international bodies were created in the aftermath of WW2, in order to reduce the likelihood of disagreements escalating so catastrophically again. Sadly for decades the US has been infiltrating and corrupting those agencies, and turning them into weapons to bash any country which dares to resist American global hegemony.”

    “In a normal world where countries are well-behaving and respecting each others sovereignty and interests such a court is a “win-win” for everyone. But in the current state of affairs where the western world is so maniacally bent on “Russian containment”, “Russian subjugation” and encirclement with hostile and often neo-nazi forces, at any cost and at any price, the ECHR has become a tool of this goal. It plays the role of moral superiority against the largest country on earth. It is in the interest of the Russian Federation to distance itself from such “moral superiority” to protect its interests and counter any present or future aggression.”

    “The writer has a typical Collective West viewpoint. Russia leaving the ECHR would NOT be out of any spite. It would be for self protection. Russia will not be ordered by an American owned and run Europe to alter its laws to suit a CIA plant and criminal. The people of Russia would be outraged and rightly so. ”

    [and on and on, people making very good points, IMHO]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Russia should not participate in any international body or organization that is subject to the corrupt interference and obstruction by the US, UK and EU. These states have rotted out everything they touch and act in continuing bad faith. It is foolish for Russia to be drawn into what are mere propaganda intitiatives. The onus should be in the reverse direction. Whatever could such bodies provide that Russia cannot better be the judge of? The case cannot be made.


  4. Are you sure this court is demonstrably impartial?

    I remember watching a Russian TV show with a ‘human rights’ activist-lawyer from Latvia (I think). It was about the ‘non-citizens’ in the Baltic states.

    The way she described it (as I remember) was this: you submit a case to ECHR, wait for 10 years, and then receive some casuistic answer of the ‘get lost’ variety.

    If this is true, and if the court is impartial, why would they refuse to deal (let alone in a timely manner) with this phenomenon, that is clearly European, massive, overt, and as ‘human right’ as anything can be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, Mao, just today this story appeared of the Council of Europe criticising Latvia:

      The ECHR has also mightily annoyed the British government on various occasions, e.g. relating to Northern Ireland, British war crimes in Iraq, and prisoners’ right to vote. So the claim of some that it’s just a stooge of the Anglo-Saxon imperialists [sic] doesn’t hold up very well to scrutiny.


      1. Criticizing is fine, but the court could actually impose monetary retributions, making the practice of denying citizenship unattainable. It’s been nearly 30 years; no action.

        And it’s not really about ‘ethnic Russians in Latvia’, as RT frames it. Belorussians, Ukrainians too. It’s a Latvian problem.


      2. And it’s not really about ‘ethnic Russians in Latvia’, as RT frames it. Belorussians, Ukrainians too. It’s a Latvian problem.

        has been going on for some time now. I vividly recall watching a Latvian movie about the Forest brothers on the German-French channel Arte, and being absolutely startled. About the anti-Soviet resistance, the Forest Brothers. Not a hint on the Nazis or attempts to put matters into historical context. …

        I have to admit it reminded me vaguely of the Nazi fiction film productions I had worked on.

        It is no doubt true that the EU is aware of the problem much longer than me, but in some branches like digitalization Latvia also is the Eastern master pupil among former socialist nations.


  5. Russia’s relationship with the ECHR does not inspire confidence, nor does political interference with the judiciary system. There were, however, very positive developments during Putin’s presidency – introduction of habeus corpus, trial by jury. Most significantly, courts are beginning to work for ordinary people – between 1998 and 2012, there has been a tenfold increase in the number of civil cases filed annually.

    This can’t always be said for the West. Britain’s much praised legal system often simply doesn’t work for ordinary people and is frequently abused by powerful interests. Who needs novichok when you’ve got English libel laws to silence investigative journalists? Take also the phenomenon of private prosecution – its sole purpose seems to be enabling the wealthy to crush people they don’t like. It completely undermines every pretence of equality before the law.

    It bears highlighting that Russian oligarchs are notorious for settling scores in British courts.


    1. British claims to “moral high-ground” can be debunked with just 2 words: “Julian Assange”.
      Assange is the most important political prisoner, and possibly the most important person, in the entire world. He committed absolutely no crime, other than practicing journalism; and has been jailed and tortured for years.
      If they cannot find it within them to free him and let him return to his family, then these people have zero right to lecture Russia. On anything.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yalensis, I agree with you. In fact, the persecution of Julian Assange is far worse than anything Russia has been accused of doing to Navalny. Navalny is a right-wing provocateur and a political opportunist. Assange is a hero. His trial has been a mockery of the rule of law.

        On an everyday level, Western judicial institutions are plainly failing. I’ve already mentioned British libel law and private prosecution which muzzle freedom of speech better than any supposed assassination squad and undermine equality before the criminal justice system. The sad thing about the British justice system is that it’s way too expensive for ordinary people to rely on. I learned that from personal experience last year when I tried to sue my millionaire ex-boss for withholding my salary…


      2. Grigory, I am very sorry you had to go through that horrible experience with your boss. Alas, the courts are not set up to deliver justice to ordinary workers.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I am sooo down on Europeans right now. I guess it was a particularly bad week for rabid Russophobia getting to me… again.

    After watching a popular German series on Netflix, I was recommended a Danish postapocalyptic called The Rain. Without going into details, I’ll just say there were goons who hunted down and mercilessly killed the survivors. They spoke accentless Russian to each other! Just think about it, the creators of this Danish show actually went out of their way and casted a whole bunch of native Russian speakers! To make it feel more realistic I guess!

    So I gave up on The Rain and started another one, The Tribes of Europa, #1 in my “Trending on Netflix” list. There was a tribe called Crows, again merciless killers, murdering and enslaving the nature-loving pacifists. Crows built a dog-eat-dog society in postapocalyptic Berlin, their economy based on trading drugs produced by slaves in death-camp factories.

    The show is in German, set in Germany, but Crows leader is called Kapitan, their word for slave is “Vol’nik” and the word for sex slave is “Lubovnik”. The word for a gladiatorial battle is “Boj”. So not hard to guess Crows supposed origin.

    It was disgusting and I was freaking furious. And then I learned that my kid’s favorite Dr. Seuss book got cancelled, never to be published again, for mentioning “a man from China eating with sticks” – a clear example of offensive racial stereotype.

    On the surface, this shouldn’t have anything to do with ECHR. But once the Russians started going into Western infospace en masse, they realized just how entrenched Western Russophobia is. Once you see it, you simply can’t unsee it.

    Sorry, it’s just damn hard to accept as “impartial” the judgements from legislative bodies steeped in this culture.


    1. Lola: That popular German series you watched before the horrible Russophobic ones, was that one called “Dark”, by chance? I thought it was pretty good; and no evils Russians in it, that I was aware of. Just a bunch of Germans going back in time in an endless loop and becoming their own grandparents, or something like that. (Couldn’t really figure out the plot, too complicated, but still pretty well done, I thought!)


      1. You got it Yalensis! 🙂 Dark was pretty good, I agree. I also enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit, which I know you did, too.
        I almost feel like there should be a database of the Russophobic ones, so that people don’t waste time on them!


      2. Olga, that’s a great idea! People should be alerted about the Russophobic shows so they don’t waste time watching them, unless there are other redeeming factors in play.
        For example, I think I already mentioned somewhere how I wasted several hours on the third series of “Stranger Things” before I realized that whole anti-Soviet anti-Russian thing was not a joke! The writers were dead serious to show that ordinary American teenagers can defeat the Evil Soviet Monolith.

        By the same token, there are some great shows which do not bash Russia and are “safe” to watch without losing one’s mind – LOL! “Dark” is one of those.

        Another one I am watching now is “Casa de Papel”, it’s a Spanish series about an international gang of bank robbers. The actors and writing are excellent (if somewhat preposterous), and there is no Russia-bashing that I am aware of. They even have some Serbian characters as good guys. Well, “good” is a relative term here, since the Serbs are international criminals and jewel thiefs and that sort of thing, but within the context of this fictional universe they are helping the protagonists!


      1. True. Netflix is part of the American mainstream, so they mostly deliver establishment propaganda. But, on the other side, they are desperate to purchase ever more content, so they occasionally purchase foreign series which are not so ideologically pure.
        From what I could tell, “Dark” had no particular ideological agenda other than some dystopian stuff about the German rural towns; was mostly just pure sci-fi. “Queen’s Gambit” was almost openly pro-Soviet at a certain level. “Casa de Papel” celebrates the Spanish anarchist anti-authoritarian spirit. These are just a few examples, it’s like panning for nuggets of gold amidst the dross!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Lola, I wouldn’t want to watch that stuff. The Rain, Tribes of Europe. Checking reviews superficially. Hmm: Maybe I will take a look at the latter. It’s such an unlikely genre for both director, and script (head) and director. But then Netflix means easy money flows. Same producer as Dark, by the way.


  7. Instead of prologue. Here, that’s for you, Professor:

    Because this piece of headwear will see much use, but not by you and not in the “standard” way.

    What a poignant, excellently researched and balanced article, Mr. Robinson! One can image dem denizens of the Kremlin reading it, slapping themselves on a leg and exclaiming: “Blimey! This Robinson chap is on to something! Reverse all our foreign policy and submit Russia in full to the Western diktat – double time!”

    I mean, sure – there are so many other instances when “the Kremlin” bowed to your wise and well-intentioned opinion, seeing no harm in listening to the dye-in-the-wool non-Russian liberal, whose faith in the “values” approaches fanatical proportions. Like, remember that time when you were on RT live, Mr. Robinson, and perceptively predicted, that, in the fresh spring of 2012 A.D., “the Regime” will have no choice but to bow to the liberal “society” and “middle-class” people, and then reform itself in accordance to their wishes. Remember that? Let me remind others. Good to know that Russia now have become a true liberal paradise. Why, you can know that just by fact how “often” the term “middle-class” is in use in Russia 🙂

    I won’t beat a dead horse and give you “pills for memory” in form of your past quotes re: various West instigated moral panics over legal decisions (like “legalization” of the domestic violence or “ban of religions” that were trending just a few years, i.e. eternity ago). You couldn’t possibly write anything other than that. To write anything addressing the reality as it is, would mean for your to compromise the official values to which all proper Western liberals (in theory) had to cling –white-knuckle desperately – all their lives. For you to do otherwise would be the same thing as for the medieval catholic priest to question the Holiness of the Pope, or that there are indeed that many witches all around us, or even if “Deus Vulting” is really such a nice idea. Having doubts and experiencing a crisis of faith is understandable for the fallen mortal – acting on that is a big “tsk-tsk”!

    In your previous article for the RT you, Mr. Robinson, had demonstrated at time an uncanny ability to perceive obvious, when non perceiving it would be either harmful to your reputation, or just plain dumb – e.g. in your article about the treatment of the GPW/WW2 veterans in Russia and the UK. So, given this preternatural ability of yours, I’m quite dumbfolded that you chose to use it in your latest piece, linked in the blogpost above.

    That’s why I’m “disappointed but not surprised” (c) that you fail to mention even indirectly the gist of your Fatherland’s beef with the ECHR:

    “The pro-European Kenneth Clarke, the justice secretary, told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show that the government intended to scrutinise the relationship. This follows calls from a large number of Conservative backbenchers for the UK to walk away from the ECHR because they are unhappy with its rulings.

    MPs recently voted to maintain a ban on voting by prisoners despite an ECHR ruling that it was illegal. Many MPs have also been outraged by the UK supreme court’s ruling that the ECHR would uphold the right of sex offenders to appeal against having to register with the police for the rest of their lives.

    Clarke initially struck an emollient tone for his backbenchers, saying: “I think behind all the heat there is a little light to be shed on whether we shouldn’t, in the Council of Europe, address the question of how the court behaves – how far does it go into things which legislatures and national courts could actually determine? Are we certain that the court operates properly? It’s got an enormous number of judges. Could it handle its caseload quicker?”

    He said the UK would use its role as chairman of the Council of Europe “to get this court to reform itself”. He said other countries had “reasonable doubts” about the relationship between national courts, national parliaments and the Strasbourg-based body. The court is an institution under the Council of Europe, a body established to promote democracy in Europe after the second world war, including the rule of law and protection of human rights. It has 47 members.

    He scotched calls for a withdrawal: “There’s no question of this government denouncing the European convention on human rights as part of our programme is to continue to adhere to that. Only the Greek colonels have ever repudiated the convention on human rights.”

    Despite MPs refusing to give prisoners voting rights, Clarke said he thought the government would have to go along with the ruling: “We have got to have a look at how we comply with the law.””

    Yeah, instead the PM at the time “Call me Dave” Cameron set up a House of Lords “constitution committee” and asked it, very gently, is it constitutional to follow the ECHR rulings is they contradict the unwritten Constitution of the UK? “Bollocks!” was their Lordships informed answer. In effect, as per this ruling, the UK from now deemed to view all ECHR rulings as merely “recommendations”. They did not “quit” after all, oh, no-no! Neither did the NATO kick our the Greece over such little things as a dictatorship of the Black Colonels (fine anti-communist chaps, all of them).

    [OTOH, with the first name being Igor, perhaps former Lord Chief Justice is a crypto Russian corruptioner steeped in anti-liberal heresy and not a proper Anglo-Saxon, thus his opinion could be easily ignored. Like the Brexit vote results… roight?]

    As for the ECHR serving as the “last hope” for the oppressed Russians and that “the Regime” does not want to be held accountable to anyone and, that denying their “right” to the former, while bowing downing to the latter is seen by all shy and conscientious liberals as a Bad Thing… How very, very brave of them! Verily, by their deeds and words (mostly, by words, of course, what with their, ah, occupations and pastimes) they show us all what it means To Live Not by a Lie (c). That’s why I’m a bit perplexed, why they either turn into deaf-mute-dumb when someone mentions the US withdrawal from the ICC, or accuse you of the mortal sin of whataboutism.

    [BTW, said withdrawal happened during the disastrous reign not of the POTUS “lovingly” called by the US Adorables as either “Cheeto Benito” or just the plain old “Orange Man”. No, Dear and Beloved Dubya did it. Nowadays all of his sins are forgotten by the all-forgiving Adorable crowd – even the Dems finally saw the light of the Neo-conservative agenda!]

    As for the “vulnerable Russian citizen”, history of ECHR had demonstrated time and again what “kind” of people they prefer to defend. Poor, misunderstood and long-suffering Chechen terrorists freedom-fighters “teh ghays” ™ are obvious sacred cows, but sometimes the ECHR could surprise even a jaded piece of vata like me. With all this “Berlinish Patient” hullabaloo so-called Russia-watchers totally missed another “insightful” ruling by the same august institution passed at the same time – it decided that neo-Nazi murderers of the lawyer and a journalist were not given a squeaky-clean trial due to the jurors bias, thus considering it “unjust”. Navalny cultists are serious in their belief (not sure about the seriousness of their foreign enables), that a similar ruling by the ECHR means that Russia must let their Guru go scot-free, because international norms and whatnot. Should two Neo-nazi killers be let go as well? Because that’s what this all about.

    I understand that your lack of knowledge and expertise on either international or Russian law, Mr. Robinson, had never before did much to stop you from offering your advice, comment and/or opinion. I guess, from your zealously liberal POV it’s a good thing, that and institution proclaimed to be one of the pillars of the “liberal world order” would get the power to violate the Russian constitution, internal legislation and independence of the courts. Both domestic and foreign liberals approve THAT kind of “legal nihilism”.

    That’s why Russia’s leaving of the clown-circus-cum-bordello that is the Council of Europe is preordained. Who needs to tolerate their (and the Ukraine’s) yearly performances and grandstanding with no benefit to yourself?

    TL;DR. Your opinion on Russia’s affairs is very important, Professor. As always.


    1. Remember that? Let me remind others.

      Watched it, I must be dumb and deaf or otherwise simply unable to process information as you do. Interesting look back. The only person I wondered about a little, not heavily only a little, here and there was Nicolas Rossier. But yes, Condi Rice stuck out for me too during Bush junior’s reign. With this quote, not verbatim, interview with Der Spiegel, during a visit in Germany.

      After 1989 everyone wondered who would be our enemy now, then 9/11 happened and everybody knew.

      Wikipedia: During the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008, American president George W. Bush campaigned for offering a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine. However, Germany and France said that offering MAP to Ukraine and Georgia would be “an unnecessary offence.” for Russia.


    1. Has the Julian Assange case ever come before the ECHR or is it outside its remit?

      I don’t think his lawyers can submit something at this phase within the British jurisdiction. Judge Baraitser challenged quite a bit of legal ECHR ground in her verdict. But still one factor remained, health condition, suicidal, special treatment in the US legal system.

      The earliest time seems to be not later then six month after the verdict, in this case by Vanessa Baraitser.


  8. Professor, I mean, I sort of understand why, in the abstract, it might seem like a good idea to have a higher body that people could appeal to, if they felt their own government was being unfair to them. I am an anti-authoritarian myself, and I would hate to be at the mercy of an unfair system with no external recourse.

    In reality, though, this European court, although it might be impartial in non-political cases, like a guy wrongly accused of stealing a pear from a fruititorium, or something like that; but realistically, with politically hot cases like Khodorkovsky or Navalny, there is bound to be a CIA spook sitting in the room and overriding the legal minds, as needed.

    Like, the judges might think in a certain direction, from a purely legal POV, but then the CIA spook might employ the ultimate override, as needed: “Nope, you gotta rule thisaway, ’cause dats what da boss says!”

    I am actually pretty sure that is exactly what happens behind those closed doors, in these hot cases. Which is why they can’t be trusted.


    1. I have no idea why you imagine that. I don’t know many judges, but the ones I have met are decent and independent people. Also, the ECHR is European – no CIA. Plus, as I’ve mentioned, it’s really annoyed the Brits on a number of occasions (and no doubt other countries too). There may be some deep ideological biases at work – the judges wouldn’t be human if not – but political control from outside?? There’s no reason to believe that.


      1. Unfortunately, governments tend to accuse international organisations/NGOs of being biased or serving vested interests. The moment the UN, Human Rights Watch or Amnesty come up with a report that’s critical of Russia, they’re accused of being on the CIA payroll. The moment they criticise America’s allies (e.g. the Goldstone Report) or call for the release of Assange, there’s a similar outcry from Western countries. This isn’t to say that international institutions are impartial or inerrant, but clearly they should be criticised over specific failings rather than speculation about spooks and funders.


      2. Eh, “European”! Mate, what you call “Europe” – members of EU/NATO is actually occupied territory – 1939 to 1945 by Germans and ever since then by Caliphate of Chaos. They only pretend to have foreign policy etc. How about any of them dare to ask Americans to move out of their “country”? What would happen? There is EVERY REASON to believe that anything EU/NATO is simply controlled by USA. Pst… that is why we have Bulava mate. You can apply your “justice” elsewhere but not in Russia and Serbia – the only two truly independent states in Europe. And if you check it out – in 1941 they were the only two fighting against Nazis. The rest were collaborators. That is why deserve to be enslaved by noisy Americans. How embarrassing!


      3. There may be some deep ideological biases at work – the judges wouldn’t be human if not – but political control from outside?? There’s no reason to believe that.

        I wouldn’t have been able to formulate it that elegantly, but close to what was on my mind. 😉 Thanks!


      4. I wish there was a way to sneak into that room and find out for sure!
        I am still betting that my suspicions are correct, and a CIA guy (or MI6, which is pretty much the same thing) is sitting there behind the curtain.
        Well, only for the really hot cases, I mean, not for every single mundane case…


      5. You are simply being illogical here, Professor Robinson,

        Are we to believe that the several hundred thousand prison population of Russia can now be released because of these fictitious “health and safety grounds?

        Can Lyosha now murder and rape and Rob anyone he likes without fears of anything more than house arrest?

        What reasonable grounds are there for this corrupt decision? Looking at precedent we have Khodorkovsky, Navalny’s brother, numerous governors, Mike Calvey, the endless “dissidents” that western media are informing us about allegedly sitting in jail are all “escaping” without even a scratch.

        If the prison has a golf course and it’s own beach will the “health and safety” grounds be lifted?

        Epstein mysteriously loses his life, did I imagine where the ECHR arrested and extradited to the US numerous Russians for supposed hacking and financial crime done via the Internet?

        At least if there was some prescriptive recommendation of “he should not go onto prison if these conditions”, like isolation from the general population and so on are met – but all we have is this fast racked corrupt nonsense.


    2. yalensis, dear, I checked a couple of Russian cases. Some are pretty much the stuff that might surface elsewhere. Why don’t you simply take a look? I agree on politically oriented cases. I register a strong inner resistance against those too. But what was their decision in Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s complaint?

      here it is, couldn’t even watch the interview to the end:

      CIA guy (or MI6, which is pretty much the same thing) is sitting there behind the curtain.

      Take a look at what they do precisely. In what areas you feel the courts’ jurisdiction would be of concern for the CIA and/or MI6 more generally? Are they really wasting their time to such an extent? I am not saying they or other services may not send observers once in a while.

      Here is a list of cases the Ukraine filed against Russia. In one case joined by the Netherlands. Have you ever taken a look at the files or watched videos of the proceeding in the Netherlands? The security services are already well represented in that context.

      Concerning the latest application “Western bias” may well matter, we should keep an eye on that. But it will take ages.

      Be sure to take a look at this file, click headline with small pdf icon:
      Forthcoming judgments and decisions 09-11.03.2021
      New inter-state application brought by Ukraine against Russia
      Press Release – General

      Curious indeed that Ukraine decided to fight for all of us Europeans, or some Russian authors/activists:


      On court proceeding and procedure peculiarities more generally, I I have been wondering occasionally about the handling/sealing for research of some corruption files over here on my own home ground too. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The agentura article does one thing vey well – to accuse the present Russian government with the same evidenceless nonsense that any critical reader can find debunked on quite a few sites, from the Douma attack to the Skripal, Navalny and even Litvinenko.

        Telling is this statement: “The West knows right away whodunit.”

        Of course it does, who needs evidence for propaganda to work.


      2. Peter, I have mixed feelings about Andrei Soldatov. Do you recall the Panama Papers? It was indeed peculiar that Die Süddeutsche Zeitung received those documents. Mysterious Crux there. Personally I did not exactly hold my breath when whole comment exitedly exploded about matters.

        But I recall, I may have been vaguely leaning towards the attribution theory of the Wikipedians in this context. Based on my larger focus at the time? On the other hand I wondered early, let’s say around the Sweden charge, if and to what extent once they entered our mental horizons leaks could be used by “special interests”. … And surely were.


  9. Yes, “Dark” was the one meant Yalensis, how did you guess? I suppose there aren’t many popular German series…


    1. That was the only German series that came to mind, so I figured it had to be that!
      Actually, now that I think about it, there was another German series that was somewhat popular, but I don’t recall the title. It was sort of a sci-fi version of the Berlin Wall, only with a multi-universe type of thing. Like, our regular universe split in two when a mad scientist set off some kind of device… then there was a copy of every person, one in each universe, and this all happened in some town in East Germany, I believe…
      It was pretty good, I just don’t remember the title…


      1. I watched Dogs of Berlin (also Netflix) a couple of years ago.

        That was really “dastish fantastish”; I hadn’t realized it’s so bad there, so much organized crime, of different flavors. Recommended.

        No Russkies, though, as I remember. Turks, Arabs, Croatians, Neo-nazies.


      2. yalensis, I am a series junkie too somewhat. The first season, you call it?, the first series of this public channel production was hypnotic, the second and third did not quite live up to matters. I may be a little unfair here. Maybe the weren’t given enough time for the production. 😉

        This didn’t happen with my all-time favorite British series at this point in time. It never disappointed. …

        I am a thriller fan, and yes a fan of a trend in this genre, the historical retrospect view …

        This reminds me of an early exchange with Lytt on SST, can we have a Russian series please. Even movies rarely get over here. But then, if someone would do the equivalent of one or the other mentioned above? How exactly should it be done to not enforce indirectly the reigning Western anti-Russia narrative?


  10. “The convention requires that judges be of “high moral character” and have qualifications suitable for high judicial office, or be jurists of recognised competence. ”

    This seems to be the main problem with many if not all “international courts”. If you look at the above sentence, the requirement is not to be an experienced, and most likely practicing judge but a person with legal competence but this is not the same. If one searches carefully one will find, for example, academics occupying such position at international courts which frequently leads to the corruption of international justice.



  11. As to the international rule of law that only seems to exists for nations that accept the superiority of “western” leadership, an article from yalensis’ site that I found timely to the discussion:

    “And we have also gotten used to the thought, that we mean nothing to the international institutions which are supposed to protect the rights of human beings. They stubbornly do not even recognize that a water blockade is taking place, even though this is such a medieval form of besieging cities.”


    1. Thanks for reading my blogpost, peter. This Ukrainian water blockade of Crimea illustrates precisely how the so-called “international order” has broken down completely. Previously authoritative agencies such as the United Nations have been corrupted and de-fanged, leaving only the Law of the Jungle and Pax Americana.


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