Throughout the course of Russian war in Ukraine which up to date is about to reach its first anniversary, a parallel drama kept unraveling in Russian courts, if of course that word can be applied to the institutions which carry out what counts as the law in Russia. For almost eight month already Nadiya has been kept prisoner by Russia, even though she was illegally captured and detained by terrorist forces in Ukraine – apparently Russia accepts prisoners from the terrorists, and plays a role of the terrorist court. But even now, as the Ukrainian parliament has given the captured female pilot a People’s Deputy status, which makes her efficiently a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Russia still refuses to free the now government worker Savchenko. So what gives? Why does Russia need a political prisoner – at least another one, since political prisoners are not exactly a vanguard idea in that part of the world? Of course the first sensible answer to this is as obvious as the idea of taking prisoners itself – leverage. Doesn’t take a genius to realize that the Kremlin reptiles are gonna use every opportunity to pressure Ukraine they’re gonna get. Although Savchenko is not as much of a bargaining chip as missiles and tanks are, she is, after all, a member of the Parliament.
Yet another possibility is far more likely. During the recent years, Russia had a number of notorious court hearings, from Pussy Riot to such political prisoners as Navalny, Hodorkovsky and Savchenko. Of course, there’s always the factor of getting rid of real threats in form of the very political dissidents who threaten Putin’s regime and can (sort of ) organize people. But there’s also a subtler note to it.
By officiously prosecuting various enemies of the state, Russian government tries to make it look as if they’re in their rights to do so. Even though the corruption of the Russian court system at this point is almost undeniable, Russia still pretends as if the decisions of its Supreme Court somehow represent justice, and the fact that they protect the interests of ruling elite is merely a coincidence. So this time, the court decision is going to simply mean “Ukrainians kill Russians – see, we kidnapped one and charged her with what we just said, so it’s totally legit!”.
Of course, it’s as valid as putting a judge’s robe on an ape and deeming its decisions valid, but in a country where power is basically a cult, this may be not that far from truth.