Counterfeit Democracy

It was with no surprise at all that we greeted the news from authorities that the 95,000 rubles ($3,675 US) confiscated from United Civil Front executive director Denis Bilunov in Samara were not counterfeit, as alleged. This was just one of the many spurious charges that have entered the security forces’ repertoire of harassment against any and all opposition. There was also an investigation into allegations that there were Other Russia posters offering ten dollars to participate in the rally at Voronezh. Now they say the investigation turned up no such thing. We do hope that time is not actually being wasted looking into these ridiculous accusations.

Increasingly, the authorities do not even bother to make accusations or file charges. The UCF’s Marina Litvinovich is a veteran of such harassment, as are most Other Russia activists. Upon her arrival in St. Petersburg yesterday in advance of the June 9 March of Dissent, she was detained at the train station for three hours for no stated reason and released with no charges made. Just another day in the life of a member of the Russian opposition. The proliferation and aggression of the security forces is reaching epidemic proportions.