Statement by the Free Russia Forum regarding the arrest of Mikhail Krieger

Another critic of the Putin regime, Mikhail Krieger, was arrested and thrown into the dungeons. His arrest became another link in a long chain of criminal repressions against dissidents in modern Russia. The article of the Criminal Code under which he is implicated, the justification of terrorism, is one of the most common forms of prosecution for thought crimes in Putin’s state, which is trying to prevent people from thinking and talking about the country’s most pressing problems. The real purpose of such repressive articles is to silence all those who dare to criticize the ruling regime aloud.

Persecution of citizens for thought crime is a characteristic feature of all totalitarian regimes. To perceive the expressed thought as a crime means to deprive people of one of their basic rights — to freely think and analyze reality. The activation of the repressive apparatus in the persecution of people for thought crimes, whether it is criticism of the war or “justification of terrorism”, clearly indicates the complete transition of the Putin regime to totalitarianism. It is sad to realize that this process, observed and ascertained by us for many years, went unnoticed or directly denied by many of our comrades in the liberal opposition. Now that this transition has been completed, many post-factum agree that we are dealing with fascism, but the resistance of the social organism to the process of fascisization could be stronger if all the healthy forces of society were aware of the impending danger and tried with all their might to prevent it.

Particularly cynical is the fact that Mikhail Krieger is being prosecuted for “justifying terrorism” by a terrorist state, which is already recognized as such at the international level – an increasing number of countries are declaring the Russian Federation an official terrorist state.

Mikhail Krieger is another victim of Putin’s new totalitarianism. But this is also our old comrade in struggle, an activist who was a member of Solidarity, who participated in protest actions for many years and was never afraid of Putin’s executioners. His arrest and detention are a blow to all of us. And this blow will not go unanswered.

We will answer it with our solidarity and support for Mikhail and other political prisoners languishing in Putin’s prisons and camps. We will not forget Michael and we will not forget those who persecute him. All those who participate in the persecution of Krieger will be identified by us and included in the “Putin’s List” to subsequently be included in the sanctions lists of the countries of the Free World. And in a future free Russia, they will be held accountable and will suffer a well-deserved punishment for complicity in political repression.

In the meantime, we wish Mikhail Krieger more moral strength and physical health to survive the imprisonment with dignity, and, of course, a speedy release!

Free Russia Forum

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