Humbleness Is a Virtue


Those who came out on the streets to protest after the parliamentary elections are ready to sacrifice Russia’s independence and to call for the NATO Special Forces to set up a Libya-like state, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin believes.

‘As a lawyer and a citizen I feel pain watching how a part of Russian society, those who think of themselves as ‘the most advanced',’ he wrote in the government’s 'Rossiyskaya Gazeta', ‘is trying to sweep away by means of political rhetoric and street riots the precarious achievements of our country’s democracy and the rule of law'.

The protests, says the judge, may lead to the destruction of the Russian state and to declaration of all branches of government - legislative, executive and judicial - illegitimate.

'Are the leaders of the protest movement ready to see their own country completely devoid of legitimacy and hence of national sovereignty? Are they prepared to call for 'Vikings' (including the NATO Special Forces) to set up in Russia a new state on the model of Libya?' asks the head of Russia’s judiciary.

Zorkin blames 'the creative class' (according to Professor Richard Florida, the creative class is the key driving force for economic development): this small but active group of people has appropriated the right to decide the fate of the country. Yet, it is all Russian people - whom the creative class sees as ‘speechless lemmings’ – who must decide.

'The today’s 'creative opposition’ does not even notice ‘how far they moved from the ideals of democracy and the rule of law, which allegedly so valuable to them’ and one after the other they put forward radically anti-democratic and unlawful demands ', wrote Zorkin.

There is a crisis of statehood, admits Valery Zorkin, but all issues must be resolved in the courts of law, not on the streets and not in the Internet.

Two weeks earlier, Valery Zorkin published another, very emotional article.

He compared the current situation with the events of 1993 (the constitutional crisis between the president and the parliament resolved by military force) and accused the West in attempts to set Russia on fire.

'Then as now, there was a major confrontation between then the president Boris Yeltsin and his opponents. Then as now, the opposition accused the government of violating the law and the Constitution. Then as now, the riots were actively fuelled by support from abroad'.

He moves on to accuse Hillary Clinton who - despite the findings of the vast majority of international observers - has called into question the legitimacy of the elections and stirred a wave of protests.

‘Then [in 1993] a wave of protests grew into a terrible tragedy for the country: street fighting, the shelling of the parliament building by tanks, lots of blood and deep erosion of respect for law, without which there can be no democracy', Zorkin wrote.

The protesters appeal not to law but 'to something else’. But ‘today we must defend law more than ever before’ because by ‘defending law we are defending Russia’.

'In 1993, President Yeltsin thought that law can be scarified for the sake of the revolutionary passion, for the Utopia of the bright and near capitalistic future. Yeltsin did not realize that the spirit of law and the spirit of capitalism are essentially the same', says Zorkin.

In October 1993, Valery Zorkin accused Yeltsin of violating the Constitution. When the riots were suppressed, he lost his post as the Chairman of the Constitutional Court.


photo: © bradical -


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