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The Daily Vertical: Bastrykin's Repression Manifesto (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

Aleksandr Bastrykin doesn't think Russia's criminal justice system is tough enough.

The head of the Investigative Committee doesn't think Russian law enforcement is arbitrary enough.

Vladimir Putin's top cop doesn't think surveillance and censorship have gone far enough.

And the man who has spearheaded the Kremlin's crackdown on the opposition for the past four years, doesn't think the suppression of dissent has been extensive enough.

No, in an widely discussed article in Kommersant Vlast yesterday, Bastrykin argued that it is time for the Kremlin to stop pussy-footing around and get serious about repression.

WATCH: Today's Daily Vertical

According to Bastrykin, it's time to "stop playing false democracy." It's time to abandon "pseudo-liberal values."

It's time to block all foreign media. It's time for all-out Chinese-style censorship of the Internet.

It's time to expand the definition of extremism to include things like questioning Russia's annexation of Crimea.

It's time for a formal national ideology and for the institutionalized political indoctrination of the youth.

Bastrykin's article is causing a lot of noise in Russia and abroad. In an editorial, Gazeta.ru argued that it would effectively place the entire country under investigation.

And in an article for BNE Intellinews, security expert Mark Galeotti called it a "manifesto for the North Koreanization of Russia."

It could be just a trial balloon. It could be the product of political infighting among the security services.

But coming on the heels of the creation of a new National Guard that answers to Putin alone, I think it's something more ominous.

I think it's a harbinger.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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