Article by: Vitaly Portnikov
This text should have been written by Olexandr Podrabinek instead of yours truly. The wonderful book, Dissidents, written by one of the best Russian publicists, who spent years in Soviet camps, speaks of how punishing psychiatry worked in the Soviet Union, how absolutely healthy people were put into psychiatric hospitals for their strive to protect human rights or simple disregard for the ‘best ideology in the world.’
Another person who would have written this text better than myself is Semen Hluzman, a Ukrainian psychiatrist who proved the senselessness of the diagnosis issued to General Petro Hryhorenko, the protector of Crimean Tatars, and who spent seven years in a Soviet camp for this.
However, Podrabinek and Hluzman could share stories of the past, however recent. We have to right about today – about Nadiya Savchenko’s situation. There is nothing to judge the brave pilot for, and so they are trying to declare her mentally ill. Using expertise, of course, however else?
Penitentiary psychology seemed part of history to us, alas. Several decades later it turned out that Russian leaders, officials, judges and medical experts are just as bad as their predecessors in the Soviet Union. That there are very few good people in contemporary Russia. That the Russian public can accept kidnapping and sending people to the loony bin without any moral dilemma. That the errors, the crimes, of Stalinism have not been rectified and the majority of Russians are unable to comprehend their personal responsibility neither for the crimes of the Bolshevik regime, nor the crimes of Putin’s regime. And this opens the way for even bigger crimes, which may befall not only Ukrainians and citizens of other countries, but the Russians themselves.
If 86 percent of the population support the President who resurrected penitentiary psychology and approve of deeming healthy people mad, this is a real diagnosis.
A diagnosis of state and civil idiocy.