Mikhail Zygar: "Such as Vanya Safronov - this is the homeland ..."

Mikhail Zygar: "Such as Vanya Safronov - this is the homeland ..."

9 July, 12:50
Colleagues of the journalist Ivan Safronov arrested for the “espionage” spoke out in his support.

Social networks have unanimously responded to the arrest of another journalist, testifying to the complete violation of freedom of speech in our country.

So, colleague Safronov famous journalist and writer Mikhail Zygar writes:

“I have known Vanya since his childhood. Rather, we met at the funeral of his father, Ivan Ivanovich Safronov.

In 2007, Ivan Ivanovich and I wrote an investigation about the secret sale of the missiles from Russia to Iran through Belarus. We almost turned in the text, but Ivanovitch proposed me to postpone it for a couple of days - in order to pick up more comments. But the text was never published, because while Ivanovitch was collecting those comments, he suddenly became ill. And then he fell out of the window. And at those days, and now I'm sure that he was killed.

Vanya at that moment was just about to enter the journalism faculty. And he did everything to continue the work of his father - after a few years he became a military columnist at Kommersant, like his father. And everyone knows that Vanya is a very decent, responsible guy who wrote about the military and about the arms trade.

Both Ivan Ivanovich and Vanya are true patriots who loved and love their homeland, and - strangely enough - the domestic military-industrial complex. And sincerely worry about him. Homeland - such as Vanya and Ivan Ivanovich. And those who persecute and kill them are traitors.

How much can this tin already..."

Another colleague of Ivan Safronov, his namesake Ivan Golunov, who a year ago fell into exactly the same situation, is sure that Russian journalism was dealt a mortal blow by this arrest:

“So far we do not know the details of the “Ivan Safronov case”, but it is already clear that after this case journalism in Russia will be different. And the loud story with a note by Ivan about the resignation of Valentina Matvienko, and even a note about the supply of weapons to Egypt - these are all stories written on information from sources. It would probably be right to work to prevent leaks, and not to prosecute journalists who managed to get information.

Probably, from today on, you should stop advising novice journalists to immerse themselves in the profession to watch the movie "The entire presidential army" about how the work of journalists led to the "Watergate scandal." In the modern Russian paradigm, the work of Bernstein and Woodward is an obvious treason, undermining the constitutional order, etc.

As a reader, I admired the work of Ivan Safronov with sources. As a journalist, I was always afraid to work with the sources - you need to understand the motivation of the sources and carefully double-check their information.

It's hard for me to try on a story about the high treason. Although from the stories of Oksana Sevastidi and Svetlana Davydova, we know that this is a "rubber" article in which you can stuff anything. Immediately I begin to recall with whom of the foreigners I spoke. Hmm, do officials count with a residence permit? But even if you basically do not work with the sources, then flying into a matter of the National Security Information does not constitute a problem at all.

However, even if you simply compare information from various official documents, and come to the conclusions that someone does not really like, then you can get a “drug lab” as an answer.

After the scandal at Kommersant, Ivan went to work for Vedomosti, and when it became known about the change of ownership of the publication, Ivan stopped trying and left journalism. Me, and many other journalists, thought hundreds of times to do the same. But...

Last night, before going to bed, I watched a video of my detention. When I woke up, I saw another video. He was a different person, but just as confused. I absolutely do not want this confusion to become the main feeling of journalism for the next few years..."

Journalist Boris Grozovsky agrees with Golunov in assessing the damage that the authorities inflict on their irresponsible activities, not only journalism, but also other socially important institutions:

“You can’t talk about terrorism (you can’t collect 500 thousand for each one), you can’t add a Canadian passport (Verzilov’s case), Vedomosti can’t do it anymore either, you can’t criticize HSE. Well, in general, when working at the HSE, it is better not to criticize - they will be fired at the first reorganization of units. It would be necessary to create a new university, but who is licensing it - Rosobrnadzor. It would be necessary to create a new university, but who would pay for it: it is impossible to conduct business in Russia and finance such projects for about 15 years already, and those who disagree with these rules have been squeezed out of both business and the country (the rules of life in the country before and after the referendum)..."

And political analyst Alexander Morozov put forward a very plausible version of the reasons for the arrest of Ivan Safronov. If so, then the state absurdity has reached a new bottom:

“This is a dramatic story. The fact is that - you did not read this - in the peripheral Russian (Donbass) media, this explanation of the demolition of the monument to Konev is circulating: the current head of Prague-6, Ondřej Kolář, did it. But not himself - but at the instigation of his father. His father, a well-known Czech diplomat, was ambassador to the United States, and then to Moscow (until December 2012). The FSB believes that the monument to Konev was demolished according to a plan developed by an American company, in which Kolarge Sr. now works.

And at the other end of this shoulder-yoke is the fate of Ivan Safronov. He was born in 1990. His father died in 2007. Since the FSB has already stated that Safronov Jr. was allegedly recruited in 2012, they will knock out the fact of communication with the Czech ambassador to the Russian Federation, Kolarge.

What is currently Safronov-jr. does not remember. Since he was then 22 years old and he went, like all journalists, to receptions at various embassies.

And the "message" of the Russian special services and V. Putin to the Czech government is already well read in Safronov’s arrest.

This is a very dirty response of the Kremlin to the demolition of the monument at the cost of freedom, - I have absolutely no doubt about it, - an innocent person..."

Bitterly joked on this subject Ksenia Churmanteyeva:

“And then Safronov will be exchanged for a monument to Konev, which the harmful Czechs refused to sell to Shoigu. Tricky!”

And finally, political scientist Alexei Makarkin tried to predict how Ivan Safronov’s case would develop:

“The case of Ivan Safronov may be another blow to Russian journalism. Any journalist collects information. In modern media, building a relationship with sources (like newsmakers), obtaining exclusive information (formerly competitors) and its speedy transformation into high-quality text is considered a competitive advantage. Also, journalists from leading publications are integrated into the system of relations with foreign colleagues and analysts - in this they are close to the expert community. This is part of the job, which can now become a professional risk.

Moreover, under Russian law, one can accuse of treason not only a person with access to secrets, but also any citizen of Russia. It is enough to quote article 275 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “High treason”: it covers not only the issue of state secrets, but also “the provision of financial, logistical, consulting or other assistance to a foreign state, international or foreign organization or their representatives in activities against the security of the Russian Federation Federation". So a journalist who has retold the contents of his published articles to a foreigner can be accused of advising the enemy, damaging security.

Given the closed nature of high treason cases, it is extremely difficult for an accused to defend himself. This is not the case of Ivan Golunov, which was immediately completely compromised by the appearance on the Internet of photographs of an extraneous drug laboratory. Now, a precedent has been created for instituting proceedings on charges of treason against a journalist who recently worked for one of the leading media outlets (as far as one can judge, the investigation is not interested in the short-term activities of Ivan Safronov in Roscosmos). It is not surprising that the journalistic community began to protest, perceiving this case as coercion to self-censorship and rewriting official press releases close to the text.

However, the source of RIA Novosti already makes it clear that a fallback is possible - if the charge of treason is not proved, then Safronov may soon be released. At the same time, it is made clear that he must cooperate with the investigation - this is apparently an euphemism for confessing guilt in a lesser crime. It can be assumed that the disclosure of the state secrets without intent (article 283 of the Criminal Code). But this means that a person still admits that he is guilty, and the case itself may become a precedent for other journalists - especially since the article itself provides for up to four years in prison. It is not surprising that Safronov already refused from the lawyer by appointment and invited defense attorneys ready to act in the interests of the client..."

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