Russia is a complex country where many paradoxes take place. It is somewhat arguable – to say the least – the fact that highest Russian officials define their country as «democratic». There would be many Russian social activists, journalists and some citizens who would disagree with that definition. As you also can see in this very report, human rights violations are more the rule rather than the exception in Russia. The fall of Soviet system gave us all brief illusion on the possibility for a change on this matter. Only a little more than a decade after, with the rise of Vladimir Putin, independent voices and super-partes media are still a far away dream.
Organised crime is also a very specific issue in contemporary Russia. To our experience, the concept and the knowledge Western European countries have about organised crime and mafias do not apply to the Russian context. The type and level of corruption, the very particular élite of businessmen (to which we refer to as “Oligarchs”), and the deviated part of the secret services form in Russia a sort of organism that we are more familiar with when describing a mafia organisation.
Of all this, and of its most evilish forms, Anna Politkovskaya used to write about. She was the highest and most reliable source of information for those who wanted to catch a glimpse of the russia that no one would talk about. One of her greatest legacy she left to us is the capacity to break a very thick wall of silence and to open discussions at an international level about one of the great world powers. Ever since her writings, Russia is more under the spotlight. It is not enough yet, tho.
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