The Ivan Safronov case and the absurd Russian reality
Russian ex-journalist on trial for treason
The journalist was accused of high treason, without presenting any evidence to him or to the public
A campaign of solidarity with Ivan Safronov is growing in the journalistic community. On Tuesday, July 14, video blogger Yuri Dud demanded publicity in his case on Instagram.
Previously Russian publications «Vedomosti», «Mediazona», «Jellyfish», «Kommersant», RBC, the Russian version of Forbes magazine and others came out with editorial materials in support of a colleague. The trade union of journalists and media workers and «Kremlin pool».
Recall that Safronov was a correspondent «Kommersant» and «Vedomosti», and more recently became an advisor to the head of Roscosmos. The day before he was officially charged with treason. He denies guilt. The journalist’s lawyer Ivan Pavlov said that no new circumstances of the case were disclosed.
According to the FSB, Safronov was recruited by the Czech special services and passed on secret information to them, which then allegedly fell into the hands of American intelligence. The journalist faces up to 20 years in prison.
At the same time, according to Ivan Pavlov, the investigation did not present the evidence on the basis of which such a serious accusation is being built», and the selfish motive that Safronov was allegedly guided by, «it is proposed to take on faith», without any proof.
«We don’t hold these people for society.»
Why are Russians kept in the dark about the case of Ivan Safronov, whom many are frankly outraged??
Program manager «Russian domestic politics and political institutions» Of the Carnegie Moscow Center Andrei Kolesnikov believes that the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has already dotted everything here. «i», explaining that those who show solidarity with Safronov, «this is not the whole society, but only a small part of it». According to the political scientist, this assessment of the situation betrays the true view of the Kremlin that the authorities are ready to cooperate only with large masses of people who are supposed to vote for Putin..
«This is the principled position of the Kremlin: we do not consider these people for society, their protest and their dissatisfaction are not for us an indicator of the mood of the whole society, – he added in an interview with the Russian service «Voices of America». – In addition, the plot itself – treason – the sphere of responsibility of the FSB. This means a closed process».
Such trials, as usual, end with convictions and rather long terms of imprisonment, stated Andrei Kolesnikova. In this sense, it seems to him, it is difficult to compare the cases of Ivan Golunov and Safronov, with all their obvious analogies: «There is a banal planting of drugs and the police, which are in charge. Here is the FSB and the state-sacred sphere of state security and military secrets. Therefore, I do not think that the state will pay attention to the protests if they do not become very widespread.».
And the degree of mass character of these protests – so far a big question, summed up the program manager «Russian domestic politics and political institutions» Carnegie Moscow Center.
«This is an absolutely absurd story.»
Chief Editor «Daily journal» Alexander Ryklin believes that the siloviki have ceased to take into account the interests of the Kremlin, substituting it at every step. According to him, the strangeness of the case is aggravated by the fact that Ivan Safronov is not an opposition journalist at all and does not work in the profession at all, having left for Roscosmos..
«It is important here that the entire Kremlin pool came out in defense of Safronov., – he pointed out in the comment «Voice of America». – And it is clear why this is happening. The journalists felt that nothing was protecting them. Neither their status nor connections in administrative circles at all guarantees journalists from sudden arrest.».
This is a new reality, noted Alexander Ryklin. Apparently, the siloviki do not pay any attention at all to any small details for them, he suggested: «Why do they need Safronov is a big mystery. I have a feeling that they will start dragging him on some other case, they will drag testimony from him against some people, they will demand to become a witness in some third case. Otherwise, it is difficult to understand the situation. He was clearly detained on some far-fetched accusation. This is an absolutely absurd story.».
And the main thing in this story – the fact that we will never know the details and details, the journalist emphasized: «The case is classified. The lawyers say they are not told anything about the nature of the charges. The FSB examination showed that Safronov’s articles do not contain state secrets. Nevertheless, the prosecutor’s office brought a formal charge against him, and he changed from the status of a suspect to the status of an accused. Consequently, Ivan will spend two months in a pre-trial detention center, but we still won’t find out anything. This is the horror of this story».
As it seems to the editor-in-chief «Daily journal», now the journalistic community and society in general should first of all demand that the details of the case and the circumstances be declassified. However, he is far from sure that this can be achieved in Russian realities.