Incarceration Nation

Free Boris Kagarlitsky!

A criminal case has been opened against Boris Kagarlitsky in Russia

By Russian Socialist Movement

July 26, 2023—Russia’s Federal Security Service opened a criminal case for justifying terrorism against the renowned Left political and social scientist, an editor of the online-journal Rabkor, Boris Kagarlitsky. He was taken from his home and brought to Syktyvkar, Komi Republic where he must face the court today. There were also searches in homes of the staff of the journal in at least three cities. This “just-in time justice” happened in less than 24 hours as if trying to match political repressions of Stalin’s era.

It is evident that the real cause for Kagarlitsky’s persecution is his political views and the desire to shut Rabkor. Boris Kagarlitsky has been actively commenting on recent political situation and openly criticizing Russia’s internal and foreign policy.

Putin’s regime has tried to silence the prominent political scientist several times. In 2018, the Institute of Globalization and social movements headed by Kagarlitsky was declared a foreign agent. In April 2022, he was declared foreign agent himself.

Boris Kagarlitsky was jailed for his political activity for the first time in the USSR, during Jury Andropov’s stint as party secretary. Then, in October 1993, he was arrested and heavily beaten for condemning the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet. In 2021 he was detained for ten days for the calls to protest against falsifications of the election to the State Duma. Now Kagarlitsky is running a risk of being imprisoned for up to seven years.

The criminal case against Boris Kagarlitsky is an attack on the whole Left movement in Russia. We can disagree with some of his statements and conclusions made during different periods of his long political career, but these arguments do not matter now. We can continue the discussion of our different positions as soon as he is free.

We are calling on all fellow socialist organizations to organize a wide campaign of solidarity, to demand immediate release of Boris Kagarlitsky and all political prisoners and to support the editorial team of Rabkor as much as possible.

Kagarlitsky remained invariably optimistic about the absence of prospects of the Russian authorities in his articles and speeches. Current events demonstrate that his optimism is justified: Putin’s regime having started the total mop up of the remnants of civil society is trying to plug the leak the size of the cannonball with a bottle cork.

Freedom to Boris Kagarlitsky!

Russian Socialist Movement, July 26, 2023