Remember Vladimir Putin’s promise, on assuming office, to establish a dictatorship of law?
On May 20, 2005, in Moscow, a car driven by the son of Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov struck and killed 68-year-old Svetlana Beridze as she crossed the street. Beridze, who was in the crosswalk, was hit with such force that she was thrown high into the air and the keys in her handbag were crushed. No criminal charges were brought against the minister’s son, who, his father publicly stated, had “experienced physical and emotional suffering” as a result of the accident. Instead, in what appeared to be an effort to intimidate the dead woman’s family, authorities opened a criminal investigation against her son-in-law, for allegedly assaulting the minister’s son.
Check out the rest of Julia Latynina’s must-read article on the reality of rule of law in contemporary Russia and it will be hard to dispute her conclusion:
In the West, people read that Putin has restored Russia’s power and strengthened the ruling hierarchy. This is the image that the PR agencies he has hired are trying to project. There may not be democracy in Putin’s Russia, they say, but there is order.
Don’t buy it.