Apologia pro Kolchenko affair

Author : Lesia Bidochko

Source : 112 Ukraine

The verdict of Russian court doesn't hold water
09:48, 28 August 2015


Russian accusations often impress with their unexpectedness. So it was with Oleksandr Kolchenko, Ukrainian left-wing activist, abducted and detained by the Russian authorities.

Russia could be several times caught in lies. First of all, at the moment of detention, Kolchenko and Sentsov were citizens of Ukraine, but the trial in Rostov referred to the laws of the Russian Federation. Apparently, Russian judges didn’t know that they are authorized to judge acts committed outside the internationally.

Secondly, the criminal investigation into the arson was filed ten days after the very act of arson. This constituted an offence under article “Crime of intentionally and maliciously damaging and destructing of property by arson”. But then the case was labeled with “terrorism”, and it is another law with different penalty provisions. 

Just look at the official indictment: “Participating in setting fire to destabilize the government of Crimea to influence the decisions of the authorities of the Russian Federation to exclude the Republic of Crimea of its secession”. Doesn't it sound ridiculous? It’s like using condoms in order to destabilize demographic rate of the country or weaken its defensibility, bantered Kolchenko. 

Now about ideologies. Official charges incriminates Kolchenko's involvement into “Pravyi Sektor”. “Pravyi Sektor” is Ukrainian far-right organization, which shrouded in stories about its racism, intolerance and uncertain relations. Once Kolchenko has confessed that during his days in prison, he has been reading "State and Revolution" by Lenin and “Speeches of a Rebel” by Kropotkin, which does not indicate on nationalistic passions. And he himself has undeniably proved his antifascist stance.

Taking into consideration the previous arguments, we may find some parallels between Beilis affar, when Russian empire accused Menahem Mendel Beilis in ritual murder of a boy. Torture and human sacrifice alleged in such “blood libels” run contrary to the teachings of Judaism, as leftist outlook runs contrary to joining a right-wing organization. Some matches with the Soviet dissidents, who were non-violently protesting against Soviet Union, could be also found. One of the most vivid common features for the spirit of this notorious historical flashbacks and Kolchenko’s case could be simply named "Russia". Russia of those “blood libels” times has died, and Russia of those Soviet executioners’ times has also collapsed. Now Russia with its agonizing cry renders the trial judgment in Kolchenko’s case. It may only betoken on Russia's near end. 

Related: US and Europe condemn sentencing Kolchenko and Sentsov

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