Freedom and openness are becoming a global cry across the world. That is why it is becoming more and more difficult to ignore abuses of power. In today’s ever growing world of global awareness and heightened scrutiny, Russia is becoming a focal point for much concern and governmental disdain, for good reason. The following outlines the abuse of power and the foundation of worry that has led to Russia’s proverbial trial, both by its citizens and the external world.
When two Western sympathizers and freedom loving Russians were persecuted and jailed by the Kremlin, it became clear that the Russian government was becoming increasingly obvious in its hatred of freedoms. Mikhail Khordodovsky and Platon Lebedev were detained by oppressive Russian officials for what would, in many countries including the US, be seen as freedom of speech. Their trial, however, will be a chance to show the world whether the rule of law, as dictated by the people, is truly present or if Russia is becoming an oppressive and freedom-hating state.
The truth is, though, that it is more likely that the two businessmen will face a negative rather than a positive outcome. Their case comes after several actions that have been seen as problematic and cautionary. First, there has been an open abhorrence by many in the government for the idea of a fair and a just trial. There has been a clear failure to create an open media and there has also been a land and industry grab by the Russian government. Though not necessarily directly related, these actions are creating a precedent of oppression and suppression rather than fairness.