December 23, 2022

Dangerous Dreams


Dangerous Dreams
George Orwell's book "1984"  Ivan Radic, Flickr

Russian crackdowns on dissent are only becoming more draconian.

A court in Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai, fined 26-year-old entrepreneur Ivan Losev for sharing (on Instagram) a detailed description of his dream about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to the Telegram channel Astra, Losev’s Instagram post contained the following text:

"Today I dreamed I was mobilized and taken to some kind of training camp, and then the Ukrainian army, led by Zelensky, stormed in. They captured everyone and were going to shoot us. At that moment, Zelensky walks past me and says, 'Oh, I saw your stories on Instagram, Glory to Ukraine!' I responded, 'Glory to the Heroes!' Zelensky cheerfully pats me on the shoulder and says, 'Let him go, but shoot the rest.' So, we are standing there, looking at this, and I ask him, 'Can I take a selfie with you for Instagram?' Zelensky says, 'You can.'"

According to Sibir.Realii, the FSB opened an investigation into Losev’s post in September. A few months later, on December 8, the Chita court found Losev guilty of discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation. He was ordered to pay a R30,000 ($460) fine.

Then, a week later, police launched an administrative probe of Ivan Losev's mother. She was charged with discrediting the Russian army for her activity on the social network Odnoklassniki. Apparently, she "liked" a post that said that Crimea is part of Ukraine, and another post that was anti-Putin.

A law against the discrediting of the Russian army was passed in March 2022. It provides for fines of up to R300,000 ($4,600) or a penalty of up to three years in prison. According to Mediazona, since March security forces have filed over 5,000 reports against Russians for discrediting the armed forces for everything from listening to Ukrainian music, standing while holding a blank sheet of paper, comparing Vladimir Putin with the anti-hero of Crime and Punishment, and "silent support" during a protest action.

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