And the courts always have “no reason not to trust” such reports.
Everything has been very bad for a very long time. It is completely impossible, if the system wants to steamroll you, to resist that – it has been around long before the war. And in this sense, had we had some other law enforcement and judicial system before February 24, perhaps February 24 would not have happened.
I think that February 24  happened due to a combination of circumstances. First of all, it is a consequence of the destruction of all institutions of civil society and all independent political and civic forces.
Long before February 24, independent courts that should resolve disputes in society, including disputes between citizens and their elected authorities, disappeared in Russia.
No one has elected the authorities for a long time either, though events called elections are held regularly. Due to the lack of independent courts, there is no place to challenge falsification and removals of candidates.
Thus, the approach that “Russians deserve the government they chose” is not mine. No, Russians did not choose this government.How do you feel repression has changed?
Repression has grown considerably. People who had not talked about it before have started to.
My clients tell me that a few years ago, if you said in a paddy wagon on the way to court that you were a “political,” then everyone would be bewildered. But now you say “I’m a political
” and they ask: “[Article] 270.3? It is fakes or discrediting?” And then someone else will say: “Oh! Me too!”
General awareness of repression has definitely risen. People are much more aware of it and are themselves afraid.In your work, you interact with officials of this system… What is their attitude about what is happening? Especially against the backdrop of the wave of cases against politicians, cases against “fakes.”
There are people who seem indoctrinated – at least judging by their behavior and what they say. They believe that the state is doing everything right, that the enemy must be punished, that for the sake of the state’s security and stability, it is definitely acceptable to violate people’s rights.
Among people with whom I interact, they are a minority. Most or everyone understands, or guesses, feels that something is wrong. And, since they do not find the strength within themselves to resist or leave, they prefer not to think about it too much.
But, for example, when dealing with cases of military censorship, many siloviki
, it seems to me, experience a certain awkwardness.
I know people who left the system after being involved in cases that we would call political. I know people who left the system after February 24. Most leave quietly – you will not find on the internet any mention of loud, voluntary departures over disagreements about the policy at the top of an agency.Is it good that they are quiet?
It’s their choice, I do not have advice for them. I am just stating that people do leave. I know one official from a security agency who left just a few days after February 24 and the next day following his resignation, he went out to an anti-war protest. He was beaten and detained, and I went to see him at the police station.
But the majority do not leave. The vast majority of the investigators with whom I worked on political cases have told me something like: “They gave me this idiotic political case, I hate politics.” They see it as a repulsive chore. But on other days you get to do the good, necessary things. You are a professional! You go see corpses, you neutralize gangs, you catch thieves, you look for drug dealers. The other days, you are doing good.
But most people with whom I interact do not get any pleasure or joy from “political” cases. They want to get through this unpleasant procedure and return to the real business.