Foreign and Defense Policy, Europe and Russia

Hooray for the Kremlin’s newly found passion for the freedom of expression!

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

In the continuation of the NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s increasingly sordid and pitiful saga, the Russian Federal Migration Service may soon give him the documents necessary to finally exit the “passport-less” section of Sheremetyevo Airport. Presumably, Snowden will then settle somewhere in Moscow during the next three months while his request for “temporary asylum” is being considered.

Hooray for the Kremlin’s newly-found passion for the freedom of expression! Now that Vladimir Putin is at it, might he be on a roll enough to grant political asylum to several dozen demonstrators, randomly snatched by the riot police from a rally more than a year ago as they were protesting Putin’s inauguration. After already spending more than a year in jail or remaining under strict travel restrictions, 12 of them are on trial now, and more are certain to follow them on the dock. Or will the Kremlin’s master reconsider the case of the activist Sergei Udaltsov, already under house arrest for nearly six months and soon to be tried for an alleged conspiracy to organize “mass disorder”? And how about protest leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, who last week was found guilty of an utterly bogus charge of “embezzlement” and is scheduled in a month or so to start serving a five year term in labor camps?

Meanwhile, Snowden’s “official unofficial” Russian lawyer, well-connected to the Kremlin, is seeking to introduce the putative “refugee” to Russian culture with a collection of Russian classics. One of the books he gave Snowden was Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. A book about deflation, collapse, and repentance of a self-proclaimed superman who had deemed himself above the law seems like a condign reading for the occasion.

According to the same lawyer, Snowden also expressed a wish to learn Russian. It should be a short course. Da zdravstuet tovarish Putin!  or “Long live Comrade Putin!” and Amerika nash vrag! or “America is our enemy!” ought to be plenty sufficient for any free speech enthusiast welcomed by the Kremlin these days.

2 thoughts on “Hooray for the Kremlin’s newly found passion for the freedom of expression!

  1. Give it a rest Leon. Snowden should be left alone because the criminal actions were taken by the NSA and the Bush/Obama administrations that violated the Constitution, not him. The fact that Putin prosecutes people that should also be left alone does not change the fact that he did the right thing with Snowden.

    When you side with the government instead of the citizens of the nation you are not exactly the patriot that you think you are. You are just another of those useful public intellectuals who sells his soul to the highest bidder.

  2. Vangel and Leon are both right, just that there is way more to this story than what most of us know. So who really know whats the real implications and motives behind all this. To top it all off who is the bad guy in all of it, its almost strictly opinionated. One thing is for sure and that is we are due for another war and its brewing out there, better pray that Russia , etc.. stay clear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>