Many journalists and bloggers call the sentence of journalist Ivan Safronov, who was sentenced to 22 years in prison on charges of high treason, “hellish”.
The editors of the Kommersant newspaper even published a letter to Safronov on the front page, in which colleagues called him "a real journalist, a great professional and a very good person":
“Times are not chosen. But you can choose what to be in these times. And you made your choice. These two years you have been a model of decent behavior. You didn't give up and you won't give up now. We know that you will pass all trials. We love you, we believe in you. We are waiting for you".
It should be noted that the prosecution requested even more for Safronov - 24 years. The defense is appealing the verdict. Safronov was detained on July 7, 2020, since then he has been in a Moscow pre-trial detention center. The journalist does not admit guilt and connects the persecution with journalistic activities. But it is curious at the same time that Putin's press secretary Peskov said about the verdict that the journalist Safronov must plead guilty in the event of a petition to the president for a pardon.
At the same time, no one really knows for what exactly Safronov was so cruelly convicted. For example, BRIEF channel experts write:
“If Safronov had not got a job at Roskosmos, maybe he would not have fallen under the control of the special services.” Surrounded by Safronov, they say that he did not testify against Rogozin and did not disclose the sources ... "
The experts of the " Briefing " channel analyze this case in more detail:
“Safronov's verdict aroused discontent among the journalistic community, including the loyalist one.
Firstly, not only the public, but also the journalistic workshop did not receive a clear explanation of Safronov's guilt. It is clear that Safronov has become an element of manipulation and leaking information. But the fact of espionage does not find reliable evidence; while the fact of demonstrative punishment is evident.
Secondly, Safronov's sentence is excessive; clearly does not correspond to the damage caused (despite the fact that the damage was not established by the investigation). So it's more of a subjective punishment. Safronov literally "took the blame of the officials" who leaked the information to him; Safronov refused to cooperate with the investigation and suffered for it.
Thirdly, the investigation and the court fixed an extremely dangerous novel - if a person who has information shares it with a foreign citizen, he objectively falls under the charge of espionage. This is an extremely dangerous trend that makes it possible to accuse anyone - from a journalist to an official - not of negligence, but immediately of treason.
Fourthly, the state in the 21st century is no longer that value, the damage to which should be higher than the damage to the individual. It is time to move away from the concept of “subjects and serfs”, since this concept itself threatens to degrade not only the state, but also society…”
And journalist Viktor Yadukha puts forward his own version:
“The worst thing about the Safronov case is that no one knows why. Personally, the most plausible version seems to me the most plausible: this is revenge for an article about plans to replace Matvienko with Naryshkin, for which Safronov was fired from Kommersant. You will say that it is too disproportionate, and you will be right. But if you look at it as delineating class boundaries, then everything is just logical. "Know your place, stinker, I'll rot!" ...
Political analyst Gleb Pavlovsky exclaims:
“22 years is a life, not a term, a whole long life!”
And lawyer Alkhas Abgadzhava considers the decision of the court logical for the present time:
“People who have not encountered modern justice, or simply do not know very well how it works, are surprised and ask. Why, the more absurd the accusation, the more incredible the violations during the investigation, the more severe the sentences?
And the answer is obvious. The severity of the sentence masks its illegality and unjustness.
They won’t give you 22 years just like that, - a simple layman will say and go on to survive.
Political scientist Kirill Rogov (recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation) is sure that Stalinism has returned to the country:
“The hellish verdict on Ivan Safronov is both a relic of real Stalinism (a fictional “spy case” with a “shooting” sentence is an act of terror) and evidence of departmental hysteria.
Started as an on-duty act of intimidation ("do not communicate with foreigners, do not go where you do not belong") and petty revenge, it seems to me that it did not initially involve such a satanic reversal of bossy bloodthirstiness. The plans, it seems to me, were seven years of a sentence with the prospect of "preschedule" subject to correct behavior. So now everyone is imprisoned: this is the "new normal", his "Stalinism-light" ... "
Publicist Sergei Mitrofanov believes that the whole case against Safronov is “sewn with white thread”:
You know, I never sympathized with Safronov. I think that all highly paid assistants and journalists are crooks. But as a person striving for justice, I cannot be satisfied with the babble about espionage in favor of ... the Czechs, our yesterday's partners in the CMEA and the Warsaw Pact? And the explanations of lured heralds of power, like Anastasia Mironova, generally work against officialdom.
Mironova, for example, writes about espionage, which consists in the grandfather's calculation of sorties from a military airfield. A plane flies - the spy determines by ear which one, puts a tick, cuts it out on a birch.
Guys, all this is visible from space. Who needs this birch, and it’s difficult to transfer it in a container through a spy stone ... "
Journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva (recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation) is also perplexed, how can a person who did not have access to state secrets be tried for treason?
Ivan Safronov was arrested immediately after my verdict. Before the start of the meeting, when it was clear that they would be convicted, but not the fact that they would be imprisoned, I stood in front of the fence of the Pskov Regional Court, surrounded by colleagues who came to support me, and said something like: if they devour me now, please don’t let them eat another one of us. I did not know, and no one knew, that a new victim had already been assigned. And right after, while I was glad that they didn’t put me in prison, searches were going on at Ivan’s ...
And now - 22 years is completely incomprehensible for what. I don't understand how you can judge a person who did not have access to state secrets for disclosing state secrets. Either the journalist obtained information from open sources - and then it is not a state secret, or he got it from officials - but then judge the officials!
I don't know what conclusions to draw here. There are no words…”
And the writer and TV presenter Alexander Arkhangelsky recalls:
“Ivan Safronov is my former student. I don't believe a single word of the accusation. And I have nothing more to add."
Here are some more comments from social media:
- GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, who passed on classified information to British intelligence, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for treason. Ivan Safronov, with his open source reviews, according to the FSB and the court, is almost twice as dangerous as Skripal.
Our country has entered a ferocious period in its history. Losses on the fronts, killings of civilians and political killings in the rear. All this will harden the hearts of those who make decisions.
- The security forces are trying to teach people that proving their innocence is more expensive for themselves. They are trying to create a system in which it is more profitable to cooperate with the investigation than to argue with it.
- The key point in this story is that he was already detained in the position of adviser to Dmitry Rogozin, whose appointment after leaving Roskosmos to any position has not yet happened.
- Champagne will be opened today not only in a 1500-meter apartment overlooking Red Square and Serebryany Bor, but also in a 500-meter apartment of Dmitry Rogozin, who now, something tells me, will receive the position he was previously promised.
- In fact, this is a sentence "for nothing". Safronov fell under the distribution due to some changed undercover hardware balances, understandable only to those who are at war with each other.
- Most likely, there is no espionage and treason on the part of Safronov, of course. However, as there is no journalism. Safronov deliberately got into the internal conflict of the defense industry, but personally framed Putin.
- Safronov's pardon by Putin is a potentially beautiful case.