Team 29: Once upon a time in Russia…

posted 2 Jun 2019, 11:12 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Jun 2019, 11:12 ]

24 May 2019

Hi everyone,

This is Tanya Torocheshnikova.  Cannes Festival comes to an end this week, but the sense that someone has written a nightmarish screenplay of our lives goes on.  As everyone knows from childhood, the formula for a good Hollywood screenplay conventionally has it divided into three parts: opener, climax, and denouement. First plot twist, second plot twist.

What is there to read?

  • The story of Viktor Kudryavtsev, an elderly academic accused of treason, fits into this format perfectly.  We write about him in nearly every circular.  He was put in a remand centre, moved to hospital, and taken back to the remand centre four days later.  It’s not clear what the screenwriters have in mind next, but Kudryavtsev’s lawyers (who are fortunately a little more articulate) are notifying the European Court about the fact that the Russian Government is refusing to carry out its decision. 
  • Here’s some action for you: on Tuesday night into Wednesday, new regulations governing counter-terrorism operations were introduced in Vladimir Oblast (we go into details here about what’s involved and what you should do). This, too, followed the script to the letter. Two fighters were holed up in a private house (the opener); some brave members of the special forces flew in (the climax); then they beat up the fighters and found munitions and extremist literature in the house (the denouement). If only I could see the script – I’d really like to know whether those fighters were actually terrorists, but I doubt they’ll ever tell us that.
  • Now to a little human drama concerning the law on the responsible treatment of animals.  In 2010, this bill was brought to the State Duma, then it went on the shelf for a long time.  Animal rights activists throughout Russia protested for years and, in 2018, the law was finally passed.  There was a lot going on in this tale over the course of eight years.  A sinister and powerful lobby of feed producers, a public hunger strike by activists beside the wall of the State Duma, and a list of ‘dangerous dog breeds’ with some bizarre creatures on it.  Anyway, read about what kind of law it is and the penalty for animal cruelty.

Anyway, as you can see, the format(s) we have is fine. If only we could fix the content…

To be continued later in the series.


Tanya & T29


Translated by Lindsay Munford