Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

Putin Calls to “Bean” Protesters with Batons

with 9 comments

Kommersant publishes a new interview with Putin, where the dictator comments on opposition rallies:

Look, all our opponents support a Rechtsstaat. What is a Rechtsstaat? It is obedience to the existing law. What does the existing law say about [Dissenters’] Marches? You need to get a permission from the authorities. Got it? Go and protest. Otherwise you don’t have this right. If you go out without having the right, get beaned with a baton. That’s it!

Putin manages to lie three times in this short passage:

1. Rechtsstaat (“правовое государство”) is not just about obedience to every law. It is also about laws being fair, about everybody being equal before the law, about having independent judiciary system etc. Do we have anything of this? No. The government adopts any laws they want, including non-constitutional, they apply them discriminatively (e.g., United Russia has on many occasions organized rallies in violation of the law but nobody dared to “bean” them for that), and they control the courts, so that the protesters can’t defend their rights there. So what kind of “obedience” can Putin demand from the opposition? I’m not even asking if Putin heard about the term “civil disobedience” and that it is often used to effectively advance rule of law.

2. Even in Putin’s law, there is no such thing as a “permission” to hold protests. The Law on Gatherings, Meetings, Demonstrations, Marches and Pickets, according to which all rallies are to be held, you only need to file a notice to local authorities that you are going to hold an action. Strategy 31 (which Putin most probably is referring to) makes it every time, complying with the law absolutely. And still, every time they get “beaned” by Putin’s riot police. So who is violating the law?

3. The last, smaller but remarkable lie: Putin also “forgot” that his own law forbids to use batons and other “special means” to disperse peaceful rallies, and the new Law on Police will forbid to “bean” people, i.e. beat them on the head. The law rightfully calls it “cruel treatment” and it doesn’t take a degree in law (which Putin kind of has) to understand why it is so. But if you yourself are a cruel person, this kind of treatment is just right: “That’s it!”

Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

August 29, 2010 at 23:36

Posted in Uncategorized

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9 Responses

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  1. It’s one thing to say “if you refuse to leave the square when directed by police, get beaned.” An evil, malignant thing, but one thing.

    It’s quite something else to say that the mere act of appearing for a protest without a license is justification for a physical assault is barbarism, Stalinesque barbarism, and nothing less.


    August 29, 2010 at 23:50

  2. @ La Russophobe
    Like in US the police does not use drastic measures against unsanctioned rallies. The facts are that most of the liberast rallies ends up with being loaded into a bus. Furthermore I suspect many of the liberasts are also provoke a more drastic reaction, so they can flash in front of Western press.

    That said, there are enough parks in Moscow, they can do their monkey business there:


    Leos Tomicek

    August 31, 2010 at 06:10

  3. * [are] provoke :-)

    Leos Tomicek

    August 31, 2010 at 22:27

  4. http://www.austereinsomniac.info/blog/2010/8/31/freak-show.html

    I do not see people getting beaten but… :-)

    Leos Tomicek

    September 1, 2010 at 00:12

  5. The event you are referring to was a legally sanctioned rally, so it wasn’t suitable to beat anyone. Still, even there the police prevented sound amplifiers to be brought to the square, which made speeches and songs almost impossible to hear for the thousands-strong crowd.

    Speaking of the person in your video, there is always a freak for every thousand people. So it’s not surprising to see one at a large rally.

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    September 1, 2010 at 00:56

  6. LEOS, please quote the president of the United States openly saying that anyone appearing to demonstrate in public without official permission should be physically assaulted whether or not obeying police instructions.

    If you can’t shut your fat, stupid, lying mouth.

    In the United States, permits are not required for citizens to peacefully assemble and express their views. The Constitution says so. America is not a weak, cowardly country that fears such things.

    But Russia is.


    September 1, 2010 at 03:01

  7. Speaking of amplifiers…


    @ La Russophobe

    America is so strong and brave that it only goes to wars it can win. :-)

    Well, Putin is not a hypocrite at least. That said, you cannot bring few hundred people to Time Square and start a rally without a permit. It has nothing to do with American Constitution, which you people treat as a museum article anyway. It is about traffic…

    Now, the Triumfal’naya is having something going on there. I saw cars drifting in recent videos. It is a common knowledge that the so called opposition gathers in places that it has no permit to be in, so that it can show off in front of Western press. Secondly, it is also known that even if the magistrate gives them a permission to do their rallies elsewhere, they disregard that command. Again for the very same reasons…

    Leos Tomicek

    September 1, 2010 at 08:02

  8. Leos, it is a handheld megaphone. To reach 5000-strong crowd you need powerful professional sound equipment, that is carried on a truck. The police arrested that truck citing “dirty car number plates” and “some papers missing” (although all papers were intact).

    Oleg Kozlovsky

    September 1, 2010 at 10:09

  9. Oleg, can you put in a link to the Kommersant story?


    September 1, 2010 at 14:09

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