Russian Interior Ministry wants to restore Stalin-style ‘Troikas’ to speed up ‘justice’

I’m… an English, French, American, Japanese, Italian, German and maybe some other spy as well… (Drawings from the GULAG by Danzig Baldaev)

I’m… an English, French, American, Japanese, Italian, German and maybe some other spy as well… (Drawings from the GULAG by Danzig Baldaev) 

2015/01/22 • Russia

The Russian interior ministry wants to revive the troikas Stalin used to conduct the purges in the 1930s nominally to deal with relatively minor crimes but which have the potential for abuse and the intimidation of citizens who are guilty of nothing, according to former investigator Andrey Grivtsov.

The ministry’s proposal, which was issued during the long winter break and thus passed almost unnoticed, Grivtsov says, would allow for trials in front of a panel of three judges within ten days of when someone is charged, thus reducing the opportunities for such individuals to mount a defense.

These troikas, he continues, recall those which existed in 1937-38, which consisted of a representative of the interior ministry of the time, a secretary of an oblast committee of the Communist Party, and a procurator [roughly equivalent to a district attorney in the U.S.], and which sentenced to death more than 300,000 Soviet citizens often without any documentation or presentation of evidence.

“Of course,” Grivtsov says, “no one is talking about a direct return to such troikas and in fact cannot in the 21st century,” but the authorities are moving in that direction and that should be a matter of concern to everyone because such arrangements will make it easier for the authorities to charge and convict and harder for citizens, including innocent ones, to defend themselves.

The interior ministry now says that there is no problem because the troikas will only be used when there is clear evidence of guilt, but it does not say “who will decide that” and consequently does not provide much hope for those who are accused, put in front of the new troikas, and then convicted.

At the very least, Grivtsov argues, this will give the authorities a new way of intimidating Russians who may be afraid to contest whatever officials do lest they be charged with something even worse. Moreover, because officials are judged in terms of statistics about convictions, they will have every reason to boost both the number of people charged and the number found guilty.

And lest anyone think these troikas would be used only for very minor offenses, the former investigator says, people should recognize that these courts would be able to deal with any offense for which the penalty was no greater than five years of incarceration. That includes “the majority” of crimes specified in the Russian criminal code.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Michel Cloarec

    And then they will start again with the gulags. Stalin and the followers “free of cost working troops” Sibirian needs roads and railways tracks. Why bother with 3 prosecutors, save money ! use internet !

    • Brent

      Exactly what I was thinking! Free slave labor for the neo-Communists…but I can just imagine the press conference with Sergey Lavrov declaring Russia will have to charge them for ‘housing’…

      I really don’t think the citizens of Russia understand what they are truly supporting with Putin and his regime.

      • Michel Cloarec

        That man in kremlin is hiding everything from them , so they do not revolt against him. There is an interesting artícle on “The Interpreter” about dictatorship .
        The russians do not consult foreign press. And russian press belong to ? Censur is another way !
        The big question : how far can he goes ?

    • J Edlund

      Yes, they most likely will repeat their history. It just seems impossible for Russia to move in the direction of an open society. Something is seriously wrong with their culture.

  • Michel Cloarec

    In China when they execute someone, they send the bill for the bullet to the family !

  • Dirk Smith

    History apparently does repeat itself. It’s 1938. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Murf

    And is anyone truly surprised?
    Shocked at how fast they could sink so low yes.
    But not surprised.

  • evanlarkspur

    As I have said before, it is time for the West to simply cut Russia off completely. We no longer want it to have any connection or interaction with us. Russia can do whatever it wants in its own borders, borders mutually established by treaty. When the Russian people are ready to curb their behavior and actions to within the standards of civilized people, they can surrender their nukes and we will consider.

    • Brent

      Absolutely agree. We do not need Russia. They supply the EU, Ukraine and other civilized Western countries with petroleum products that are right now cheap with other market sources. Look for alternative suppliers immediately and start using their petro products. Even if it costs more, the West’s money will not go to Putin’s pocket to fund his terrorism and his ‘rubble’ and economy will crash further.

      The only other things Russia supplies are cheap crappy cars (Lada) that no one wants, mafia, prostitutes and vodka, and we make better vodka than they do. Shut them completely out of Western markets, banking, technology and we do ourselves a favor because those “Duginites” hate us and want to end our way of life. We won’t miss them at all. They have to scramble elsewhere for markets for their oil and gas and the garbage their industry produces. Soon they’ll be back to riding donkeys and sending messages by semaphore.

      The U.S. thinks we need them to negotiate with rogue states like Iran, North Korea and Syria. Why? They themselves are a rogue state and they support those other terrorists! Shut them completely out of any negotiations with other states. Look how well it worked with Cuba. Russia wasn’t involved and the U.S. ended 60+ years of animosity.