Staunton, July 24 – Pro-regime organizations and individuals often denounce their opponents to the authorities with the expectation that the powers that be and the judicial system they control will accept these charges, penalize those denounced in this way, and clear the way for the snitches to advance up the career latter.
Moscow’s Znak news agency has now published a list of what it refers to as the five “chief snitches of Russia” and describes how they have brought low their personal opponents (znak.com/2021-07-23/kto_pishet_donosy_na_ideyno_nepravilnyh_zhurnalistov_artistov_i_aktivistov).
The first on the news agency’s list is Yekaterina Mizulina, the daughter of notorious Senator Yelena Mizulina and someone who has singled out Internet activities for her special attention. She has attacked various Russians for their posts and called for slowing down the speed of connections for Internet companies that don’t open offices in Russia.
Her usual charges involve supposed involvement with pornography and drugs, and Russian officials have followed up, most recently in the case of journalist Yury Duda now being heard in a Moscow court. She also wants to shut down Twitter because it supposedly carries pornographic messages.
According to Mizulina junior, there are more than 200 bloggers in Russia who are promoting drug use and some 53 million social network accounts which either produce or repeat “destructive content.” Almost ten million of these are accounts belonging to Russian children, she says.
Second on the list is Vitaly Borodin, head of the Federal Project for Security and the Struggle Against Corruption. He was behind the denunciation of the Project publication that forced its closure and its researchers to leave the country. Borodin has conducted these attacks even though he himself studied in the US on a National Endowment for Democracy grant.
Third is Aleksandr Ionov, current president of the Anti-Globalist Movement in Russia. The targets of his snitches include the Meduza news agency, Novaya gazeta, and Vazhnyye istorii which investigates corruption in the regime.
Fourth on this list is the infamous Duma deputy Vitaly Mironov who has gone after gay activists and even Internet aggregators as threats to Russian national security without any justification. Unfortunately, the Russian powers that be take his claims at face value and follow up with legal action.
And fifth is another Duma deputy, Vasily Piskaryev, who earlier was deputy head of the SKR. His targets have included NGOs which he has sought to close by having them labelled foreign agents or undesirable organizations.