Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Countries which Engaged in Lustration Escaped from Their Pasts; Russia which Didn’t Hasn’t, Analysts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 28 – According to analysts surveyed by SeverReal, “the connection between lustration and democratization looks absolutely direct and immediate.” In those countries where lustration was carried out, there has been real progress; but in those like Russia where it hasn’t, the past lives on.

            As observers consider what Russia should do “after Putin,” the issue of whether or not a post-Putin regime should engage in lustration is heating up given this connection (severreal.org/a/v-schastlivoe-buduschee-odnim-bolshim-skachkom-lyustratsiya-35-let-nazad-i-poslezavtra/32653891.html).

            But it is not a simple one. Many people want to avoid the possibility of more bloodshed that such actions would involve. Others don’t see a possibility for an international tribunal to function in the Russian case. And still others say that it was easier to conduct lustration when the officials involved were viewed as occupiers or where the new state itself was occupied.

            Yan Rachinsky of Memorial says that whatever is done, one principle must be kept in mind: those considering whether to punish or at least exclude from public life anyone should consider personal responsibility rather than to think in terms of categories. Not everyone who worked in this or that agency was guilty of crimes and no one should assume otherwise.

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