On Wednesday 26 July, the Russian secret service FSB opened a criminal case against well-known left-wing political scientist and sociologist, editor of the Rabkor online magazine Boris Kagarlitsky.
The formal reason for initiating the case was the alleged “justification of terrorism”, but it is obvious that the persecution of Kagarlitsky is a political reprisal for his views.
Recently, Boris has been actively commenting on the current political situation, openly criticizing both the domestic and foreign policies of the Russian authorities.
The regime repeatedly tried to silence the globally well-known and acknowledged political scientist – in 2018, the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (ISMO), headed by Kagarlitsky, was recognized as a foreign agent, and in April last year, the status of a foreign agent was assigned to himself.
Having started his activity back in the Soviet Union, Kagarlitsky was first imprisoned during the rule of Yuri Andropov. Under Yeltsin, during the events of October 1993, he opposed the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet, for which he was detained and severely beaten. In 2021, for calls to participate in protests after the elections to the State Duma, he served 10 days of administrative arrest. Now Kagarlitsky could go to jail for up to 5 years.
It is also obvious that the criminal case against Boris Kagarlitsky is an attack on the entire left movement.
The President of the Party of the European Left, Walter Baier sent a letter of protest to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Brussels. It says:
“The Russian authorities are obviously trying to confirm all the accusations made in the West. To prosecute Boris Kagarlitsky as a ‘foreign agent’ and ‘justifier of terrorism’ is as absurd as calling the war started by the Russian Federation a ‘special action’.
Kagarlitsky and his medium Rabkor are one of the few remaining dissident voices in the country. Russia needs truth as much as it needs peace. On behalf of the European Left Party, we demand an end to the repression of Boris Kagarlitsky, his colleagues and Rabkor, and the establishment of freedom of expression in Russia.”