The trembling knees of Putin's crumbling system are on display. It attempts to project an image of strength and stability, but it is evident to all, including itself, that it lacks a solid foundation — the necessary support of the people. This is why these hysterical arrests are taking place.
On Friday, I got to know from journalists covering the trial that my lawyers were being raided. Then on Monday, journalists at the court informed me that my defense lawyer Vadim Kobzev, along with two other defenders whom I had last worked with over a year ago — Alexey Liptser and Igor Sergunin — had been arrested. I was also informed by the court that my lawyers Olga Mikhailova and Alexander Fedulov had «turned off their phones.»
I want to express my immense pride in my defense team. I truly appreciate every person who has been a part of it, both past and present. They are truly exceptional professionals who have diligently represented my interests within the confines of the law and upheld the highest standards of ethical conduct for lawyers. They have successfully refuted every baseless accusation against me. In addition, their extraordinary efforts in challenging my prison conditions have resulted in approximately three hundred court hearings in just one year.
It is absolutely absurd to accuse them of spreading «extremist messages.» For a significant time, every single one of their records has been thoroughly documented. Any correspondence between me and them is carefully censored for three consecutive days. Moreover, the room where I contact my lawyers is under constant audio and video surveillance.
The persecution of my defenders is clearly against the law and has only two purposes:
1) to retaliate against them for their outstanding work
2) to threaten society and, above all, the lawyers who dare to defend political prisoners.
I want to express my gratitude and support to Vadim, Alexei, Igor, Olga, and Alexander. I also want to extend my support and wish resilience to their families. Your loved ones are true heroes and the pride of their profession.
As someone who was once part of the legal community, I strongly encourage my fellow lawyers not to stay silent. We need to unite and speak out in support of our colleagues who are being persecuted for fulfilling their duty to help their clients. By doing so, we can work towards preserving the fundamental right to a fair defense.
Regarding the so-called «extremist activity» that the authorities label me with, I must say, that I don't need something like secrets, codes, or messengers for it.
My activity is grounded in my constitutional rights as a Russian citizen. In our country, no particular ideology can be imposed as the state ideology. Furthermore, every individual has the freedom to openly express their political beliefs.
I express mine. I am against Vladimir Putin. I believe that he has illegally seized power. I believe that he is a usurper and a corruptor. He is an illegitimate ruler and a promoter of corruption. I do not consider his entire team to be true statesmen, but rather accomplices to criminals. They are swindlers and thieves.
I have consistently encouraged citizens in the past, and I am continuing to do so now: whenever an opportunity arises, it is crucial to take action, express discontent, and vote against Putin and his United Russia party.
This is not extremism, but a legitimate fight against an illegitimate government.