From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng (Original Message) Sent: 1/4/2007 3:16 PM
Revival of political monitoring
Publication time: 31 December 2006, 10:41
One of the good intentions of Perestroika, the liquidation of political monitoring in Russia, has disappeared into oblivion. In 1991, when the "great powerful Soviet Union" began to tear at the seams, and the fate of the KGB was uncertain, leaders of Perestroika and chiefs of state security hurried to assure Russian society and political activists that state security services would no longer conduct political monitoring. At first it seemed that this would be so. Although even then it was explained that even with former dissidents by no means everything was at an end - some investigations remained in operational development.
For a long time "work" on political opposition, if it was being conducted, was sufficiently unnoticeable. The Administration of Constitutional Safety of the FSB of Russia, created in 1998, did not advertise its activities. Data about political organizations and their activists did not become a weapon for suppression of the opposition, which acted and still acts by legal methods within the framework of the Constitution.
Today, the situation has changed considerably. Collection of information about the opposition is conducted no longer only in the interests of judicial- investigation organs and not only for reports about their position in the country. Information is now assembled and analyzed for urgent operational measures. And these measures concern not only combating terrorism, but also "political extremism", as colleagues of the Special Services understand it. The UFSB in Moscow is combating terrorism and fighting political extremism.
The traditions and methods of the 5th Administration of the KGB, created in the USSR for dealing with dissidents, are being revived before our eyes. Early on the morning of December 5, colleagues of the KGB, with the support of police and Komsomol officers blocked in the apartments of dissidents, who according to data available to State Security Agents, were planning to go to the Pushkinskaya area at 6:00pm to participate in a silent demonstration of solidarity with political prisoners. Those who were not found at home were snatched from the crowd as they approached the Pushkinskaya area. On December 16 of this year, some demonstrators approaching Triumfalnaya Ploshad for the "March of Disagreement", were stopped and taken away by police based on absurd and fabricated charges.
Who precisely, what "law-enforcement" service, could know the potential participants in an oppositional meeting? Who tracks the movement of buses headed to Moscow for participation in such a meeting? Who manages information throughout the entire country and operationally makes absolutely unlawful decisions about detentions? There is no doubt that it is not the police, who would never have sufficient opportunity, coordination, or determination to so roughly and publicly act in spite of the law. No. It is the service which stands above the law and which does not doubt its impunity that is occupied in such actions. There are no doubts whatsoever about the fact that the heirs to the 5th Administration of the KGB work in today's FSB.
It goes without saying that political monitoring in one form or another always existed in Russia. However, today the relation of the authorities to such monitoring has changed; shadowing political organizations has ceased to threaten scandal. It has become distinctly evident that the methods which the Soviet regime used to punish dissidents have been adapted now for the suppression of opposition. It is shameless, it is demonstrable, and it is happening on a large scale.