Shuttering Memorial – part of Kremlin’s preparation for expanded war against Ukraine, Chubais says

Dressed as Russia in a blood-stained outfit and holding a national flag, a woman chained herself to a Lenin statue in Novosibirsk, Russia to protest deteriorating human rights and increasing poverty. The large sign attached to the flag says: "I Am Dying." Three smaller signs hanging off the chain crisscrossing her body say: "Police," "Fear" and "Censorship." August 22, 2017 (Photo: Alyona Martynova / Sib.fm)

Dressed as Russia in a blood-stained outfit and holding a national flag, a woman chained herself to a Lenin statue in Novosibirsk, Russia to protest deteriorating human rights and increasing poverty. The large sign attached to the flag says: "I Am Dying." Three smaller signs hanging off the chain crisscrossing her body say: "Police," "Fear" and "Censorship." August 22, 2017 (Photo: Alyona Martynova / Sib.fm) 

Opinion, Russia

Edited by: A. N.

The Kremlin almost certainly decided to move against Memorial now lest that human rights group serve as a rallying cry and thus crystalize growing opposition among the Russian people against an expanded war against Ukraine, Moscow commentator Igor Chubais says.

A train of Russian military equipment in Voronezh Oblast, which borders on the east of Ukraine. Photo via CIT. ~

A train of Russian military equipment in Voronezh Oblast, which borders on the east of Ukraine. Photo via CIT.

Related: “An attempt to ban memory.” Why Russia wants to shut down its top human rights NGO Memorial

Of course, given censorship and the lack of reliable information about what is taking place inside the corridors of power, he continues, it is impossible to sort out all the rumors now circulating about this decision; but the relationship between Memorial’s closing and Moscow’s moves in Ukraine is too obvious to miss.

Related: Moscow moves from justifying GULAG to glorifying it

Before giving “the final order” on Ukraine, the Russian leadership “cannot but consider public opinion and the position of the partially destroyed civil society inside its own country.”

A trainload of Msta-S self-propelled howitzers reportedly arrived in Russian-occupied Crimea as part of Putin's aggressive military buildup targeting Ukraine. Crimea, April 2021. (Source: Social media)

A trainload of Msta-S self-propelled howitzers reportedly arrived in Russian-occupied Crimea as part of Putin’s aggressive military buildup targeting Ukraine. Crimea, April 2021. (Source: Social media)

Memorial is “the most serious and well-known civic organization with well-deserved authority inside the Russian Federation and abroad.”

Related: Russia’s moves toward fascism come ‘not just from Putin,’ Russian human rights campaigner says

That is especially the case, the Moscow writer says, because it is becoming “ever more obvious that our society is against the intensification of Russian military activity in Ukraine.” Shuttering Memorial will thus eliminate one important channel for those attitudes to come together and influence the West if not the Kremlin itself.

And what that means, Chubais says, is that those who care about what happens to Ukraine must care about what happens to Memorial.

Read More:

Edited by: A. N.
Ukraine needs independent journalism. And we need you. Join our community on Patreon and help us better connect Ukraine to the world. We’ll use your contribution to attract new authors, upgrade our website, and optimize its SEO. For as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

Tags: , , , , , , ,