April 25, 2006 by AK
More on Bakhmina
If any of the wrongs that Russia’s government has recently committed merits international interference or protests, it has to be the conviction of Svetlana Bakhmina, a former corporate lawyer with YUKOS, for “embezzlement” and “tax evasion.” The convicted mother of two, who has been in detention since 2005, is not only legally innocent — her standing within YUKOS clearly prevented her from playing a significant part in any corporate wrongdoing — but innocent in the sense that victims of hurricanes and terrorist attacks are. She happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and so got railroaded. Back in the 1930s, one would get shot as a “trotskyite,” “bukharinite,” or “leftist-rightist” for having (or having had) the wrong acquiantances. Is this a replay?
Khodorkovsky and Lebedev once chose to take the enormous risk rather than back down before Putin. They are victims of both Putin and their own device. Bakhmina, a hard-working professional mother and wife, is nothing but a victim of the evil system Putin has partly set up, partly revived, partly inherited. We are witnessing brute force crudely masquerading as justice. This is also a vicious attack on Russia’s emerging middle class — not the best but the most Westernized, the most liberal-democratic, the most dynamic, and in many ways the brightest segment of this society.
Putin and his vampires must go.
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