Reuters on the “Assets of the Ayatollah”:
From 2016, Gatestone Institute: Colonel Richard Kemp:
Reuters on the “Assets of the Ayatollah”:
From 2016, Gatestone Institute: Colonel Richard Kemp:
"Syrian Gambit 2011", Absolute Power v Liberalism, CIA rendition to Syria, Cold War history, dictatorship and democracy, Islamic terrorism, KGB Playbook, medieval vs modern, Moscow and Washington, Moscow v Washington, post-Cold War, Putin's Political Image, Reflexive Control, Soviet / post-Soviet politics, totalitarianism
Possibly: when the Soviet Union dissolved Dec. 25, 1991 and then presumably ended the Cold War, it’s possible (possibly) that American and Russian security elements thought to cooperate on issues confronting both states, Islamic Terrorism high on the list of possibilities conveniently at hand for that.
For the United States, one presumes that cooperation would have been intended to reduce the power and presence of dictatorship in the world and (in domino effect) remove the vestiges of the defunct Soviet Union in global foreign affairs. In the way of political “optics” — how things look — the American and other EU / NATO constituencies would have perceived some great measure of peace and trade taking place between the former superpower antagonists, so when Clinton and others signed off on “Uranium One”, it may have been in that context that the deal went down.
East and West had taken the great leap forward toward peace in 1992 and by 2010 business involving uranium, a strategic asset, appeared to have been conducted in overall calm, bureaucratic, and peaceful conditions.
While other business and political mixers were proceeding, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya were also transformed (in 2003 and 2011, respectively), at least as regards the deposing of each dictator — and let none remember them fondly: they were both monsters in each their own demonic way.
Then in 2011: Syria.
When offered the choice, Putin refused the liberal western path and reverted to the KGB past. At that moment, possibly(!), Team Security USA, in some part, discovered that it had been duped
(Note: intervention in Libya preceded the perceived (Wikipedia) start date of the Syrian Civil War — on BackChannels, the “Syrian Tragedy” — by five days).
Moscow had intended to refuse the adoption of democratic liberalism all along.
What the United States and EU / NATO had done for peace between 1992 and 2011?
I don’t know.
However, one may imagine the possibilities.
However, the old news cross my desktop a few minutes ago, and it seems to add its little bit to the BackChannels perspective on Cold War / post-Cold War / Phantom of the Soviet history.
If you haven’t hit the link, the “old news” was this:
Syria was a key participant in the C.I.A. rendition program at a time when President George W. Bush’s administration labelled Damascus part of the “axis of evil,” according to a report by the Open Society Justice Initiative.The report – titled “Globalizing Torture” – said President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was one of the “most common destinations for rendered suspects,” indicating an established security relationship between Syrian intelligence and Western agencies.
The story — and not written for conservative Americans — traces its thesis back to at least 2003.
Apparently, Moscow and Washington had been fighting terrorism together in the double-0’s of the new century.
However, that day must have been young compared to this in which the interested public knows of the false-flag operation known as the “Moscow Apartment Bombings” (September 4-16, 1999).
Also today, thanks to Anna Politkovskaya, we know also of the Russian Army’s unofficial but observed brutalizing of Chechen villages as a means certain to fill the ranks of “Chechen rebels” through the Second Chechen War (August 26, 1999 – April 16, 2009) — for where else would Chechen boys and men go to fight back against so monstrous a force?
The assertion has held up over time.
Welcome Moscow’s post-Cold War totalitarian design and the west’s apparent partial cooperation with it, possibly, up to the Syrian gambit of spring 2011 when Obama tested Putin’s navigational tendencies.
In Russia’s persistent feudal mode, states serve power, and power need see no difference between property and persons, sovereignty in the politically absolute mode implying the right — more: even the obligation and demonstration — to destroy either with impunity and without explanation. A little foolery with political perception and CIA “rendition” programs (to fight al-Qaeda and others) would be one thing, but to travel further with Moscow and Damascus in their tyrannous journey appears to have been something Washington could not bring itself to do.
The “KGB Playbook” — “Active Measures”; “Perceptual Control”; “Hybrid Warfare”; playing both sides for fun and profit — listen to the BBC’s interview with Admiral Gorchkov on the instigating of the Ogaden War between Somali militia and Ethiopian defenders; the loss of boundaries and limits (that dovetails so well with the “malignant narcissism” concept) that would seem to have licensed surreptitious poisonings (in Great Britain) straight out of 007 Bond fantasia; and the complete loss of compassion, conscience, and empathy for others — has turned out a still living evil, and one that even the paternally and narcissistically authoritarian Trump Administration cannot dismiss while doing its duty to defend America’s Constitution.
Posted to YouTube November 14, 2011.
authentic democracy, feudal revival, medieval v modern, middle east conflict, New Nationalism, Orwellian politics, Phantom of the Soviet, Phantoms of the Soviet, progressing politics, proxy terrorism, Reflexive Control, resurgent feudalism, Soviet / post-Soviet politics, totalitarianism, truthful historic narrative
“Yes, but there many things that must be explained… the terrorist attack of 9/11 received the support of Saudi Arabia… ???”
No, ______, it did not.
Now everyone has a problem, not least the state of ______: do the leaders of the world — and the worlds of business, finance, and politics — want the present to recycle into the future using totalitarian techniques — or does it want authentic progress on behalf of our species and the planet that hosts all of us?
I have come to know — no longer just think — the Moscow believes that political issues and perceptions can be invented and controlled from ‘behind the curtains”. Knowing the little I know of wildness in nature and evolutionary unpredictability, I would counsel against that Orwellian ambition.
Place the blame for 9/11 on “east-west competition” for political and resource (“Grand Game”-related) control; post-Cold War realignment, perhaps — the idea that western security services would cooperate with Moscow’s on crime, for example, or on “fighting the terrorists” (after Moscow has positioned them) where it belongs and in proportion to the contribution to design. Of the two, “Moscow” and “Washington”, the data I have dredged from the web points to Moscow’s so-far persistent totalitarian ambition.
There’s much to hash in the above message, but all will distill into the two familiar and very different worldviews so often referenced by BackChannels as “Medieval Political Absolutism v Modern Democratic and Liberal Distribution of Power”.
In which world would you rather live?
Point by point —
First, official Saudi Arabia revoked Osama Bin Laden’s citizenship over the crime visited on the United States of America on September 11, 2001. That leaves unofficial KSA and other actors as possible donors to the Wahhabi al-Qaeda enterprise, but as the sovereign state has maintained its innocence, the potential rogues within have made themselves only potential persons of interest for internal policing. At this time, about 17 years later, a KSA-USA alliance has been established and is being promoted as reliable online.
Regarding reliability, we shall see, as it seems in the nature of history and politics to be full of surprises.
Second and in regard to the news articles cited, BackChannels has noticed from the Cold War Era a kind of symmetrical diplomacy attending “east-west relations”. When, for example, the Soviet Union reclaimed its nuclear missiles from Cuba, the United States moved back its forward-based Jupiter missiles from presence near the Soviet Union’s fringe. Whatever the two states may have been saying to one another, they were saying it at the same time. In popular history, the more dramatic and visible recovery of “nukes” from Cuba was more quietly matched by similar behavior in Europe. It would not be much of a stretch, if any, to suggest that as the Soviet Army retreated from Afghanistan, the American CIA similarly pulled back from its involvement with the Mujaheddin even though that would leave the proxy available to the next Russian state, which was to announce its presence, however pale, with the appearance of the Russian Tricolor raised above the Kremlin on the morning of December 26, 1991.
Finally, BackChannels may wish not to know what took place in 1992 between business interests and multiple state security services with the Cold War presumed over, Communism defeated in Russia, and some new western-leaning and capitalist state about to be born. It would rather — and so will — fast forward to today’s “Phantom of the Soviet” and the destruction brought to Syria and Ukraine (Crimea), the revival of feudal ambitions spurred in EU/NATO targets by the reflexive response to Islamic terror attacks, and in both Turkey and nascent Kurdistan the leverage applied to ego by Putin’s “energy politics” and appeals to narcissistic aggrandizement in leadership in both geopolitical spaces.
Today’s Hamas-produced political theater on Gaza’s border with Israel smacks of Soviet Era spectacle. While nothing would appear to have changed from earlier days, much has changed as regards “state-sponsored terrorism”. The Soviet Union passed into history more than 25 years ago, and the phantoms of it in search of the source of their dark souls must find it absent. In its place now stands the autocratic “Mafia State” fully willing to destroy innocents in its chosen combat arenas, induce greater chaos in the world (seldom more so than in Syria and in Ukraine’s Crimea), bomb hospitals with impunity, and revive the Soviet’s most criminal and pernicious practices and programs.
If Gazans, who in the main have gotten very little out of decades of so-called — and violent — “resistance” only knew for what and for whom they were protesting . . . .
The Internet is fully up: now the Palestinians may know (and know well who has lied to them and how) and — if and when determined to extricate themselves from the powers that have profited off their sustained suffering — make themselves truly free within their own community and more genuinely nascent Palestinian state.
“On the streets of Gaza people have a sense of security – except when Israel attacks” — In defensive modes, preventive, responsive, retributive.
The Palestinians have long surrendered their dreams to propaganda, the PLO/PA, and Hamas as well as the corruption attending such governments that hold themselves beyond criticism.
From what sense of ethics, integrity, or justice were the greenhouses and synagogues of Gaza destroyed after departure in 2005?
Such rage would seem to have been set loose by officially and socially approved, promoted, and popular anti-Semitic incitement, the same that had Hamas in 2006 proclaiming to Palestinians that Hitler admired them as ideal revolutionaries (PMW: “Hamas: Hitler praised the Palestinians as models”).
Perhaps Israel should treat as poison the disinformation fed to the Palestinians and see the same receive an antidote in an honest telling, for Hamas fairy tales have only enslaved the Palestinians and gotten them to get themselves killed for show.
Posted to YouTube March 30, 2018. Ten more Palestinians were to draw fire and die, and the cause should be clear through what the cameras recorded in the way of “peaceful” demonstration.
One may marvel at the power of bad ideas and failed dreams to continue placing the innocent in harm’s way — and for the global press, the more souls corralled and misled into martyrdom, the better for sympathy and “understanding”, never mind the squandering of billions of dollars intended for Palestinian practical betterment going into the pockets of corrupt and venal leaders and their systems of patronage.
The Soviet Union dissolved in bankruptcy about 26 years, and yet the scenes remain much as Yuri Andropov must have seen them when promoting dictatorship beneath the cover of Popular Liberation Movements.
The peace camps of the west may have to soon decide whether they wish to remain in business by doing their part to sustain the middle east conflict on bogus claims; and Mr. Putin may soon have to decide whether he will take KGB and more general historic Russian barbarism forward with the cynical manipulation and destruction of every space in which Moscow has chosen to play.
GDR, German Democratic Republic, history, Insiderkomitee, phantom socialism, Phantoms of the Soviet, politics, post-Cold War, Society for the Protection of Civil rights and the Dignity of Man, Soviet / post-Soviet politics
He tells me he worked from 1961 to 1990 at the ministry of Potsdam, exclusively in counter-espionage. He picks up the thesis and reads its title:
The Work of the Ministry for State Security on the Defence Against Intelligence Infiltration by the Secret Services of the NATO States against the GDR. Presented from the Viewpoint of a Member of the Division for Counter-Espionage, Regional Administration, Potsdam.
‘This is a discussion paper I wrote based on my work at the ministry. If you read this, you will learn a lot of what you want to know.’
I flick to the front page, and see that the paper was written in 1994 for the ‘Potsdam Working Group of the Insiderkomitee for the Reexamination of the History of the Ministry for State Security, Inc.’
— In BackChannels experience of the eternal present online (and in the library), herewith a gush —
Author Anna Funder has put together a delightfully cringey-queasy how-it-was — Stasiland, Harper Perennial; Reprint edition, 2011(German Edition, 2006; first published in 2002 as suggested above) — on the German Democratic Republic (GDR, 1949-1990), and along with remembrance of assorted adventures and certain manners and methods in suffering comes this eyebrow-raiser.
“‘ . . . we have changed our name to the ‘Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and the Dignity of Man’.”
Here’s a chill —
For corroboration here in the open source, another writer, Gary Bruce, has made mention of the same ghost:
The organization of former Stasi officers known as the Insider-Komitee, whose self-styled objective is to restore “balance” to the current literature on the Stasi by writing “objective” history of the Ministry for State Security, assisted me in locating an important Stasi officer for interview.
As resources appear fairly wide open to the curious on the web, BackChannels will wrap up the gawking now that it has stumbled across the tracks of at least a few others, and including those of the author her brave self, for she acknowledges, “My great mistake was to imagine that the stories of resistance, courage and decency would be well received by Germans” — for who would show up at the launching of Stasiland in the ballroom “of the former Stasi Offices in Leipzig”?
The first two rows of seats were filled with ex-Stasi (or perhaps ex-Party) men. I know this because they were in the ex-Stasi (or ex-Party) uniform, which consists of polyester trousers with a nice firm crease, a bomber jacket and a significant amount of Brylcreem. They were sitting in their former ballroom, legs splayed, arms crossed, looking daggers at us.
The same crew would later make a show of walking out on the event.
An observation higher up in the above cited piece precedes the willies and seems more worth remembering:
When I encountered Miriam, Julia, Frau Paul and Klaus Renft, what they told me was deeply thrilling. Not only in the sense of the bravery it took to climb the Berlin Wall or dig an underground tunnel or defy a governmental declaration that you “no longer exist”. The thrill was more fundamental. I felt I was witnessing, alive and breathing and drinking coffee opposite me, heroic human decency.
The GDR was a furtive and insidious tyranny. Through the Stasi it pried into every aspect of your life. It possessed armies of spies, paid and unpaid. Some estimates run as high as one for every six and a half members of the population. Any attempt to achieve success in East Germany involved a pact with the devil – you paid with your soul if you wanted to attend a university, enter a sports-club, become a lawyer or a clergyman or marry a foreigner – like Funder’s friend Julia. You could only avoid contact with the regime if you opted out, and went into “inner emigration” – not an option for the ambitious.
This was a regime ruled by dour old men – Marxisten-Senilisten.
Wikipedia. “Stasiland” (bold added to excerpt):
Stasiland has been published in sixty nine countries and translated into a dozen languages. It was shortlisted for many awards in the UK and Australia, among them the Age Book of the Year Awards, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, the Guardian First Book Award 2003, the South Australian Festival Awards for Literature (Innovation in Writing) 2004, the Index Freedom of Expression Awards 2004, and the W.H. Heinemann Award 2004. In June 2004 it was awarded the world’s biggest prize for non-fiction, the Samuel Johnson Prize.
American political cohesion, despotism, Donald J. Trump, malignant narcissism, military honor, Military Parade, Military Parades, military remembrance, political self-aggrandizement, Soviet / post-Soviet politics, Vietnam Era, Vietnam veterans, Vladimir Putin
American holidays and strong community interaction with the military honor the military. Related concerts and parades are today legend for binding the nation into a coherent and cohesive entity worth defense and worthy of respect all around.
There are ancillaries in air shows and show components, e.g., Blue Angels, in other events.
The parading of missiles and tanks has been for most who produce that spectacle a boast and a threat associated with lesser power, not greater.
The Vietnam generation of military cannot be compensated nor, perhaps, repaired adequately, but all have been permanently honored, memorialized, remembered on the Mall and beyond that in America’s communities. If and where long-term disservice has been done, perhaps that conversation is the one that should be led by an American President.
(c)1996 J. S. Oppenheim & DRB Productions
Hey, old college kids, remember the fatigue jackets, the grass, the Mobilization on the Mall, and the whole trippy deep ecology and far out peace thing?
Know that the Soviet Union invested $1 billion in the environmental and peace movements of the day (perhaps labor was already under way), and it got its money’s worth in the sabotaging of domestic will for that war. It would also come to lose influence with the hip when it demonstrated its true methods in “realpolitik” as it drove tanks into the Soviet satellite states that it had completely demoralized with its own narcissistic claptrap and thuggery.
I was young at the time — the last of the babies of the baby boomers — and on the draft rolls only briefly before our troops were brought home.
The “Active Measures” part of the Vietnam War is active today on Moscow’s part: disinformation, election meddling, war by proxy in support of kleptocratic dictatorships. If you approve of such methods and ends — much including the ownership of other humans as mere property and as well demonstrated by Moscow-aligned Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Grand Ayatollah Ali (“Hang ‘Em High”) Khamenei — do nothing, say nothing. If that’s not the world in which you wish the next generations to live, look back, get caught up on Orwell — or Hitchens on Orwell — for a start — and look forward to engaging in this now really different kind of war.
BackChannels reminds: Putin appears to have bombed Moscow apartments with interest in blaming Chechen rebels for the deeds (“false-flag operations”) and then gone on to brutalize Chechen villages into pushing their men into the ranks of experienced and ready Chechen rebels.
The Soviet Union dissolved in bankruptcy with official finality on December 25, 1991.
The moment had a backstory, one well worth the reading.
The west may have been too quick to believe Russia would then evolve into a capitalist democracy, free and vibrant. Instead, and much as scholar Karen Dawisha has unearthed, it became by design an elitist’s kleptocracy and one that now apparently revolves around its own “Vertical of Power”.
BackChannels believes the strong have cause to celebrate through national holidays and shared American events, but it is the weak that needs must put their muscle on display in parades.
When one works a few ideas around to a compressed or distilled state, one hates to lose them in cascades of commentary published through the social networks. Blogging helps preserve such thoughts and keep them available via keyword searches. This passage comes from an earlier take on the same theme:
With President Trump, the American public faces three deep challenges:
1) how do deal with disinformation in the long term — “Active Measures” from Russia’s machinery, deflection and related strategies involving information and (“Fake News!”) rhetoric;
2) how to resist our own deepening divisions to return to quintessential American ideals, principles, and values, starting with the valuing of integrity in business and government and consequent distaste for corruption;
3) how to address enemies that have found ways to blend and practice war indirectly, not only by proxy but with “frozen conflicts” aiding the movement of arms and narcotics worldwide and ability to deeply manipulate terrorism (e.g., see “Moscow Apartment Bombings”; read Anna Politkovskaya’s observations on the brutalizing of Chechen villages).
We may be in a little bit of trouble because the Cold War didn’t end quite where we thought it had and not much has prepared EU / NATO constituencies for its apparent phantoms and their still medieval political ambitions and views.
It has happened: the refugees of 1948; the KGB-designed Arafat and PLO and associated Abbas; and Hamas, held to account for rocket fire from Gaza: all — whatever has been the mix — have coexisted with Israel for 70 years.
If not happily, there’s a story there that goes back to the WWII and the character of the Soviet Union then and comes forward to that of the Russian Federation today. Absolute power, corruption on the part of the powerful, the deceptive and disingenuous use of language — such have been the variables that have sustained Palestinian hardship and an angry coexistence with the Jewish neighbor from near the ruins of Ottoman power and Nazi adventure in the middle east. When the phantoms of the Soviet wake up and then decide to go back to sleep forever, then the coexistence will become peaceful, pleasant, productive, rewarding.
I don’t know if there’s a fairy tail ending with “peace and prosperity” for all, but I feel the burden and weight of the “Nakba” should be rightly assigned to the post-WWII role taken up by an historically autocratic, authoritarian, elitist Russia having difficulty shaking off its attachments to “political absolutism” and related egotism, narcissism, and hypersensitivity to civilizational self-concept and image.
Of course Moscow means to look noble and powerful before the world.
Well, here it has its chance to stop covering its yesterdays, which may include immediately two major revolutions and the weathering of three governments within the past 100 years, and shrug away the chaos and dishonesty that have brought a mess to Syria, hardship to Ukraine, and continuous meaningless and needless suffering to the Palestinian main base. BackChannels may well see in its crystal ball — why else publish such a blog? 🙂 — the difficulty of transitioning patronage and power away from corrupt elites in the effort to better and honestly serve the interests of an abused and disenfranchised once refugee population, but where else to go? Let the political criminals and gamblers settle up, reinvest, and move on to the challenges posed by genuinely noble causes and enterprises.
absolute power, Absolutely Powerless, Cold War, Cold War history, dictatorship, KGB, medieval v modern, Oyub Titiev, Political Evil, Political Medievalism, punitive psychiatry, Soviet / post-Soviet politics, totalitarianism, USSR, Vladimir Putin, Yuri Dmitriev
The BackChannels editor has to wear “readers” too, but to spare some squinting here’s the most critical pull from the small print in the above image:
Dissenters, as a rule, have enough legal grounding so as not to make mistakes during their investigation and trial, but when confronted by a qualified psychiatrist with a directive from above to have them declared non-responsible, they have found themselves absolutely powerless.
Kafka comes to mind.
So does Milan Kundera’s famous statement: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”
President Vladimir Putin’s dictatorship has chosen for Russians the erasure of their memory and gone after the culturally healing human rights organization Memorial.
While Yuri Dimitriev’s dark adventure into Putin’s Hell gains traction in the western human rights community, another Memorial notable has been apparently framed (here relayed in shortest form):
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/01/russia-rights-defender-arbitrarily-arrested-in-chechnya/ – 1/11/2018
https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/01/276951.htm – 1/11/2018
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/10/chechnya-under-fire-after-human-rights-activist-held-for-drugs-possession – 1/10/2018
BackChannels wishes not to dilute the singular and stunning insult to the world that is the “Dmitriev Affair”, but it’s evident the Phantom of the Soviet has in mind the planting and rooting of Old Totalitarian Poison even with the world’s entire New Intelligentsia taking notice.
Expressed as a personal trope: “Absolute Power” becomes inevitably the power to visit suffering on others with impunity.
Expressed as a personal trope: according to Richard Pipes (and now I shall have to relocate the reference), as the power of the Mongols receded, Russian princes had nonetheless internalized the idea that property and person could be (and should be) treated as the same thing, and proof of sovereignty was to be found in the permit to destroy either at will and without consequence.
For the malignant among narcissists, it would seem the suffering of another should have no consequence other than to affirm the power of the narcissist’s own blind will. All the techniques of theater — for controlling family, if small; for controlling nations, if large — may apply to the artifice of presenting “reality” with the intention of framing and creating popular — and a neither too bright nor curious nor politically empowered — perception.
Some of Russia’s leading cultural figures say Mr Dmitriev was framed because his focus on Stalin’s crimes — he found a mass grave with up to 9,000 bodies dating from the Soviet dictator’s Great Terror in the 1930s — conflicts with the latter-day Kremlin narrative that Russia must not be ashamed of its past.
The narrative has taken on added importance ahead of a March presidential election, with polls showing incumbent Vladimir Putin, who uses his country’s World War II victory when Stalin was in charge to bolster national pride, is on track to win.
Mr Putin asserted last year that what he called an “excessive demonisation of Stalin” was being used to undermine Russia.
In general, the situation in Karelia is complex. On one hand, Karelia is a region where many exiles are left, the whole region was filled with camps and exiles, and the memory of this is alive at the personal level. And the authorities of Karelia have, for a rather long time, supported the activities of “Memorial” and various structures for perpetuating memory. When Dmitriev discovered the Sandarmokh burial site, the Karelian authorities cooperated and held a contest to landscape this place. But at the same time, there were efforts to conceal and obstruct the receipt of information on the side of the secret services. They also tried to pressure Dmitriev six years ago. On one side the authorities helped, but on the other side, some power structures interfered. And in the past couple years, pressure on Dmitriev has intensified, as an independent historian.
A small clearing in a dense northwestern Russian forest marks the site where, 20 years ago, Yuri Dmitriev discovered a group of mass graves containing victims of Josef Stalin’s Great Terror.
Using detailed documents uncovered in KGB archives, Dmitriev was able to piece together the location where Stalin’s execution squads killed and buried more than 9,500 people from 1937 to 1938. The documents contained the dates and names of those killed, as well as the executioners’ names. During the next two decades, Dmitriev worked meticulously to document every victim’s story.
“For our government to become … accountable, we need to educate the people,” Dmitriyev said of his efforts to uncover details of Soviet repression.
But not everyone wants to remember this forgotten history, especially amid Russia’s current patriotic fervour. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said in June that “excessive demonisation” of Stalin has been a “means of attacking the Soviet Union and Russia”, and several branches of Memorial have been declared “foreign agents” in recent years.
The U.S. Mission to Russia is concerned by what appear to be politically-motivated criminal charges against prominent human rights activist and historian Yury Dmitriev. Mr. Dmitriev is a respected historian whose work has been instrumental in uncovering mass burial sites and founding the Sandarmokh Memorial Complex in Karelia. We call on Russia to transparently uphold the rule of law and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also call on Russia to respect its international human rights obligations, including those related to the prohibition on arbitrary arrest or detention and respect for fair trial guarantees.
A previous psychiatric evaluation declared him to be of sound mind and a court-sanctioned expert group found no pornographic content in nine photographs of his daughter that are at the center of the case against him, overturning the earlier findings of other experts commissioned by prosecutors.
What always struck me about Dmitriev was his enthusiasm, which materialized less in the help he gave me and more in his attitude to history, to events that had occurred many years ago. For example, in the same cemetery where I shot the film, he found the remains of a POW. None of the local authorities was in a hurry to bury the exhumed “youth,” as Dmitriev called him. So Dmitriev put the bones in his garage. A while later, he secured a spot in Peski Cemetery, found a sponsor to help him buy a gravestone, and asked the philologist Valentina Dvinskaya to translate the phrase “To the victims of war, disappeared but not forgotten” into German so that it could be engraved on the headstone. He did all this for an unknown man who had been killed over sixty years ago.
It was only later I realized that Yuri Dmitriev was the same Yuri Dmitriev who had founded the Sandarmokh Memorial Cemetery, who was involved in investigating the Krasny Bor Forest NKVD execution site in Karelia, who had catalogued over 13,000 names of victims of the Great Terror of 1937–1938 in Karelia and published them in The Book of Remembrance, which runs to thousands of pages.