From Ekho Moskvy:
On Wednesday, the Russian State Duma passed a bill to counter the Magnitsky Act in its second reading. This version of the bill contains amendments that ban American citizens from adopting Russian children and expands measures against any country – not just the United States – that violates the rights of Russian citizens. In addition, it would ban NGOs financed by the U.S. that deal with political issues or present a “threat” to Russian interests from operating in Russia. The bill needed 226 votes to pass, and received 400 for, four against, and two abstentions.
In this blog post for Ekho Moskvy, journalist Anton Orekh questions whether this bill is not itself a threat to Russian interests.
The story of the anti-Magnitsky law and its anti-child amendment has revealed not only the true faces of these deputies, but their real purposes as well. It is not as if we ever had any illusions about this collection of mandated citizens. It is just that these scoundrels really showed the full extent of their foolishness when they started retaliating against America by harassing our orphans and the disabled. But it is precisely because of their foolishness that we keep them.
What a clever move for our top leaders. America passes a law to protect itself from our swindlers and killers. We have nothing to respond to this law with! We are going to hide our swindlers and killers to the very end, and we have nothing to present to the Americans. But we really want to. You cannot just brush yourself off and move on. And then four hundred clowns burst into the arena and scoff, throwing about all manner of drivel and demonstrating the outrage of the state. This is how we declare the awesome position of our state, its unanimous patriotism and other crap.
But if the anti-Magnitsky law really is passed as it reads now, then the rest of the world is going to think that our country has turned into a wild territory filled with crazy humanoids with balalaikas. But we are not entirely apathetic about global public opinion. We love giving foreigners a good impression. And right at the moment that this parliamentary rapture reaches its climax, it is time for completely different people to come to the fore. Ones who say something like: we share your sense of worry and dismay; we understand your emotions and indignation. But let us not react to this so harshly; let us smooth out our language. We can give the Americans and our other enemies and enviers one more chance to redeem themselves. Putin, Medvedev, Matvienko and whichever other big fish can softly temper our position. They play good cop.
And on one hand, we show our people that our deputies do supposedly care about our children and the future of our country; we show the world how the representatives of our people practically unanimously express their ire and readiness to tear to shreds these treacherous Yanks, and on the other hand, we make a conciliatory gesture. They will say: look, we are holding this national anger in check, but this is not easy to do, because national anger is great and all-encompassing.
That is the role of our deputies. When we need them to turn into silent punch card machines that stamp documents without looking at any actual laws. When we need to display them as wild monkeys, jumping high in the air. Regardless, they will to be displayed as morons who only do what their leaders tell them. And that is why they are deputies. The question is: how did they wind up in our Duma?
Translation by theotherrussia.org.