Wolves often come in sheep’s clothing, and tyranny has a way of disguising itself as “national security.”
Russia has become increasingly less discreet in its attempts to shut down any glimmering hope of freedom in the name of protecting its domestic interests.
Since Dec. 30, the Ministry of Justice of the Russia Federation has added over a dozen names to its register of “foreign media acting as a foreign agent,” with 115 individuals and organizations now listed under the charge that “these persons systematically distribute materials to an indefinite number of persons, while receiving foreign funding.”
“Voice of America” is the first on the list — fancy that.
While Russia accuses foreign agents of meddling in its national affairs, the state is guilty of its own charge for sending paratroopers into Kazakhstan to deal with violent protests last month
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed that move was justified for the threat it posed to national security.
“We consider the recent events in a friendly country to be a foreign-inspired attempt to use armed and trained groups of people forcibly to undermine the security and integrity of the state,” she said, according to the state-owned Sputnik International.
The unrest in Kazakhstan was initiated by citizens protesting high gas prices in Zhanaozen and moved to the country’s largest city, Almaty, where violence broke out.
With the Kazakhstan move along with the recent build-up of troops and equipment near its border with Ukraine, Russia is cracking down on perceived threats to its agenda and its power.
That crackdown is picking up steam internally as well. Along with the growing list of supposed “foreign agents,” the nation’s highest court on Dec. 28 ordered Russia’s oldest human rights group, Memorial International, to stop operations.
Memorial itself had been designated as a foreign agent in 2016, and prosecutors claimed the group repeatedly failed to identify itself as such, The Associated Press reported. They also said the organization “creates a false image of the USSR as a terrorist state.”
The Russian Supreme Court agreed, shutting down the organization.
Charles Maynes of NPR gave his perspective on the ruling a day later.
“Well, you know, this is part of this larger battle over who gets to tell the story of the Soviet Union, what kind of country Russia wants to become going forward,” he said. “And Memorial put out a statement to the effect that said, you know, you can liquidate an organization, but you can’t kill ideas or stamp out memory itself. Memorial will find ways to continue their work in pursuit of truth.”
He’s right. Memorial International and other liberty lovers will continue in their work because you can’t kill ideas. Even as people are silenced and organizations are shut down, the memory of freedom lives in the hearts of men.
Russia and other nations in the insatiable pursuit of power will not be able to stop those in pursuit of freedom.
What is in the dark will be brought to light. Truth and freedom win, always.