Memorial’s Darya Kostromina tells Yasin that a major explanation for the explosive growth of such cases has been that officials who launch and carry through such cases to conviction, having received signals that this is what the center wants, know that by doing so, “they will receive promotions after a certain time.”
“This is a self-reproducing atmosphere,” she continues, adding that “I do not think they have any plan. More likely, this is [the product of] their own career motivation in the majority of cases.” Defense lawyer Timofey Shirokov agrees and says that this drive for promotion works throughout the court and justice system.
Each new repressive law, when the center gives the signal, works in the same way, he suggests. But fortunately, there is now one way out for the victims of this process that they didn’t have in Stalin’s time: the possibility of appealing to the European Court for Human Rights and embarrassing the Russian powers that be into better behavior.