Russia seems to have gone to war against Ukraine in all the fields, including the law. On Tuesday, April 8, the Supreme Court of Russia will hear a lawsuit about pronouncing the USSR dissolution unconstitutional. The claimant is a certain Dmitry Tretyakov. The respondent is the government of the Russian Federation. The claimant has been seeking a governmental response since the beginning of this year. The Supreme Court’s website says the suit was handed to the judge on January 9. The first hearing will take place on Tuesday.
It may be a special case that a citizen has decided to demand that the collapse of the USSR be pronounced illegal. But this may also be part of a well-orchestrated campaign of the Russian authorities to admit that the withdrawal of ex-Soviet republics from the USSR was illegitimate. For Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on March 12 in a telephone conversation with former Mejlis chairman Mustafa Dzhemilev that Ukraine had unlawfully withdrawn from the USSR.
The Day asked the Moscow-based independent journalist Semen NOVOPRUDSKY to comment the filing of this suit.
“If this lawsuit had been filed six month ago, it would have seemed the whim of a politicized freak. But now, unfortunately, a suit like this should be treated more seriously. In its foreign policy, Russia begins to follow the logic that it has had no history of its own in the past 23 years. Some Russian journalists have written in this connection: we exist now inside the brain of one man. What is going on is, above all, transmission of the idea of the world the way he [Russian President Putin. – Ed.] wants.
“It is very important to see how this suit will be covered in the Russian media and what this will result in. But this petition is now in the trend, to use a voguish phrase. And it is totally unclear whether Russia will offer any constructive version of its vision of the world. Obviously, it will be impossible to regain full control over the entire post-Soviet space by way of any military operations.
“On the other hand, this course is rather a short way to radicalize the now smoldering stage of decay in the post-Soviet space.
“This suit shows that Russia is now living by a concept that has zeroed what has been in the awareness of the Russian authorities, not of the whole world, what has occurred in the post-Soviet space over the past 23 years. It is not clear what there will be at this place. We are now on the ruins of one vision of the world, which the Russian authorities used to have, whereas there is no other yet.
“The way Russian courts hand down rulings is totally unpredictable. One must know the underlying reason why this suit has emerged. It is hardly the personal initiative of one individual. Any ruling on this suit, even a negative one, will not diminish its significance which is in any case higher than it would have been even a couple of months ago.
“Putin’s reasoning is now almost the same as this claimant’s. It is now a political mainstream for the foreign and domestic policy. Irrespective of the outcome, this suit shows that Russia wants to ‘replay’ the history of the USSR collapse. It wants to show, at least for itself and in its consciousness and further political actions, that the USSR has never broken up.”