Monday, December 25, 2023

Moscow Lodging Ever More Cases of Treason than Ever Before But Hiding Trend by Restricting Coverage and Shifting Some of These to Regions Far from the Capital

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 22 – The First Department, a portal that tracks what is going on in the Russian criminal justice system, says that Russian officials have lodged a record number of treason charges this year but have hidden the exact number by restricting information and shifting cases from the capital to locations far beyond the ring road.

            As a result, the activists at that portal say, they are certain that the 63 treason charges this year they’ve been able to document is only a fraction of the total number ( and

            Dmitry Zair-Bek who heads First Department says “we don’t know about every case, and the state doesn’t share every one of them with us.” Thus he estimates that “the absolute number of cases initiated over any random period is always 30 to 50 percent greater than what is known from open sources.”

            “In the coming year,” he continues, “cases from the year just passed will be sent to the courts’ and since so many cases were opened in 2023, we predict that there will be a doubling in the total number of verdicts returned in 2024.” There may be an even greater increase from courts located outside of the capital.


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