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Open letter to the Prosecutor of occupied Crimea

Maj. Gen. Natalia Poklonskaya, so-called "Prosecutor General" of the Russian occupation administration in Crimea, Ukraine (Image: video screen capture)
Maj. Gen. Natalia Poklonskaya, so-called “Prosecutor General” of the Russian occupation administration in Crimea, Ukraine (Image: video screen capture)
Open letter to the Prosecutor of occupied Crimea
Article by: Alexander Podrabinek, Russian dissident and former Soviet political prisoner
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Edited by: A. N.

Madam Poklonskaya! I really don’t believe that you’re the main inspiration and organizer of the new political persecutions in occupied Crimea, but you will, without a doubt, not only faithfully execute Moscow’s orders, but also zealously try to inflict the greatest possible damage and humiliation on innocent people.

This is a common phenomenon – a young and up-and-coming lawyer trying to build a career by fabricating criminal cases against honest people. Before you, Stalin’s Commissar Nikolai Yezhov also took this road and was rewarded for his efforts by being executed by his senior Bolshevik comrades.

This road was used by many criminals, and you should bear this in mind. Like you, they are not bothered by legal issues. They even consider applying and following the law a matter of secondary significance, and most importantly, they believe laws should reflect the political will of the government.

This applies not only to our country [Russia – Ed.]. In Nazi Germany, the entire law enforcement system – from the rank-and-file police officer to judges and prosecutors – was subordinated to the Nazis. They also carried out government orders and instructions. Later, in one of the Nuremberg trials, these criminals even invoked their subordinate positions within the Nazi system and tried to use it as an excuse for their criminal deeds, but this didn’t help. It won’t help you either, because justice will prevail in Russia and you will have to answer for your political crimes in Crimea.

Your last abuse of justice, lightly covered by an incomprehensible formulation of Stalin-like laws was the criminal case raised against Ilmi Umerov. According to you, “he is suspected of voicing public appeals and actions aimed at violating  the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation”.

Umerov recently spoke on Ukrainian television:

Ilmi Umerov

“I don’t recognize the illegal referendum of March 16, 2014! I don’t  recognize the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation in Crimea! I think the current government in Crimea is illegal, and that  Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation with the help of military troops”.

Ilmi Umerov is a doctor, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, and a true patriot. He was correct and accurate in his assessment of the annexation of Crimea. His view is shared by a lot of honest people in Russia and around the world.

You are now trying to drag our country into the Soviet past, where people like you – the heirs of Vyshynskiy [Stalin’s Prosecutor General – Ed.] and Yezhov – wielded great power, while honest people were sent to prison camps. It is for such vile and contemptible ideals that you work so hard now! That’s why you have invented this reprisal against Ilmi Umerov, an honest man that you, Madam Poklonskaya, can never equal, neither intellectually nor morally. I understand how annoying it must be for you to measure yourself against such victims.

You’re probably furious that your lies can’t defeat the truth, that you can’t silence everyone who disagrees with you with your threats. I must disappoint you: there will be more and more people like Umerov every year. You’ll never be able to throw them all in jail even if you institute a Stalinist system of repression.

Your abysmal ignorance has led you to think that you can pull the wool over our eyes with your state-inspired lies, and that your threats will intimidate us! Read the history books! Ordinary citizens and nations have always stood up to people like you and will continue to do so.


Alexander Podrabinek is a Russian journalist, human rights activist, editor-in-chief of Prima Information Agency and Ekspress-Khronika newspaper. He works at Radio France International and Radio Liberty.


Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Edited by: A. N.
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