Pavel Chikov: Putin’s next term in office – a short political forecast

posted 17 Oct 2017, 07:14 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Oct 2017, 02:34 ]

10 October 2017

By Pavel Chikov

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Newsru.com]




In his Telegram-channel, the leader of the Agora International Human Rights Group, Pavel Chikov, has published a gloomy prediction of Russia’s future once Putin has won the forthcoming presidential election.

These are the contours of the President’s new term in office:

1. The banning of foreign media (yesterday’s notice from the Ministry of Justice to Radio Svoboda warning them of restrictions that might be placed on their journalists; to be followed by Medusa and all media sources with foreign funding).

2. Exit from the Council of Europe (yesterday’s announcement by Matvienko), legal conservatism and the opting out from all and any international institutions, withdrawal from the ECHR, the denunciation of a number of international agreements.

3. Blanket neutralization of the political space (note what is happening to Navalny’s supporters and the people from Open Russia).

4. The seizure of the majority of shares in regional companies by a circle close to the President and the bleeding white of the regions (note Sakhalin, and the creeping seizure of assets of Rostekh, Rosneft, and others). The continuation and completion of a wave of criminal cases against entrepreneurs forcing them to give up their businesses and transfer shares on the most various pretexts (non-payment of wages, or taxes, fraud, misuse of credit and government funding).

5. The final neutralization of political and national sovereignty (note Vasiliev in Dagestan, and we shall watch what is happening in Tatarstan).

6. A mass of criminal cases and the forcing out of the country of all those who follow non-traditional religions, whether Islam (followers of Tablighi Jamaaat, Said Nursi, Khizb ut-Tahrir), Christians (Jehovah Witnesses), or Buddhists (Hare Krishna, Om, Yoga), and Scientologists. The cleaning out of the religious space.

7. A sharp deterioration in diplomatic relations with many European countries (the Baltics, Eastern Europe, Germany) extending to the closure of their embassies.

8. The creation of a Russian firewall, taking Runet out of the global system, filtering external materials, isolation of the internet.

9. A packet of new repressive legislation and initiatives in the summer of 2018, followed by a new wave of repression in the autumn of 2018, including ‘the final solution’ – the imprisonment of Navalny. Leaving the Council of Europe will give the regime a free hand and remove many restrictions (for example, abolishing the Penitentiary Service and returning its institutions to the MVD and the FSB, reintroduction of the death penalty, etc).

10. The introduction of restrictions on leaving the country, increasing the practice of removal of citizenship, the confiscation of the property of those who have left: as the saying goes, ‘if you don't do it in time, you’re too late.’

Translated by Mary McAuley

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