Georgy Satarov: “Spring Flare-up: The ‘Agents’ Case.” Part Three (Ezhednevnyi zhurnal)

posted 3 Jun 2013, 08:04 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 3 Jun 2013, 23:58 ]
30 May 2013 

Source: The New Times

When deputies or Kremlin spin doctors or, most of all, Putin comment on the "foreign agents" amendments by saying, "We're doing what the Americans did, what are you whining about?"  - they are lying. The American law is concerned with real agent connections and services where an agent is hired and given instructions by their employer (e.g. lobbying organisations) to implement a particular project or carry out some sort of activity (let's say, promoting holidays and tourism in the employer's country). In U.S. law the word "agent" has been borrowed from a completely different dictionary, which has nothing to do with espionage or the other fancies of Chekist nightmares. In fact, the idea of co-opting the spy label against civic organisations which in no way provide the services of a “foreign agent” has itself been borrowed from some of our neighbours in the CIS who beat us to it. Russia’s ruling faction liked the idea because it was such a crude and dirty trick, because it gave them the chance to use their rusty Soviet instincts, and the hope of sullying the good name of NGOs in some way, and so make up for their own misery and resentment. [Read more]