Posted 1 февраля 2022, 15:56

Published 1 февраля 2022, 15:56

Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

It is time for the state to specify the concept of "foreign agent"

1 февраля 2022, 15:56
Владислав Иноземцев
The mention of the country for which people recognized as foreign agents work in Russia will make it possible to show the dominance of foreign influence in the country on a much larger scale.

Vladislav Inozemtsev, economist, sociologist

At the end of last week, Vladimir Putin gave a list of instructions following a meeting of the Human Rights Council (HRC), in which he ordered, among other things, to analyze the practice of applying the law on foreign agents and their possible exclusion from the register by May 1.

One of the signs of the modern Russian independent press has recently become the famous plaque, from which it follows that this or that material “is created and (or) distributed by a foreign mass media acting as a foreign agent, and (or) by a Russian legal entity acting as foreign agent." Liberals are indignant at the assignment of the status of foreign agents to the media, officials tirelessly repeat that the Russian law on "foreign agents" is almost entirely written off from the American FARA.

Of course, one does not need to be a certified lawyer to see all the differences in the letter (and even more so in the spirit) of these regulations. Of course, the selective attribution of certain mass media objectionable to the authorities to foreign agents cannot evoke positive emotions. But, in addition to these considerations, more than once or twice I caught myself thinking that I don’t like Russian legislation for something else. What is it, well, let's say, some kind of inconsistent and "unfinished", or something. And recently I realized what exactly I was not satisfied with it.

When, for example, you try to watch some film in the USA, shot by talented Russian filmmakers and shown on Channel One or RTR, a small plate will always appear in the corner of the screen, unobtrusively informing the viewer that “Channel One is a company entirely or partially owned by the Government of the Russian Federation” (English: Channel One is a company wholly or partly owned by the Government of the Russian Federation). Clear and understandable. If we turn to our own history, we recall that the vast majority of the "enemies of the people" were not just Trotskyists or Zinovievites, but worked for Polish, German or Japanese intelligence (the latter were especially numerous in Siberia, some of them not only did not know Japanese, but was generally illiterate, but this did not change the essence of the matter). So: the very concept of "foreign agent" looks very strange in our conditions. Where are the specifics? Why not clearly demand to write: “Agent of the US government” (or the Czech Republic, or Poland, or ...for example, the People's Republic of China [here they are in our press, in my opinion, almost every second])? Such an approach, it seems to me, will make it possible to show the dominance of foreign influence in the country on a much larger scale.

Of course, if it actually exists. But just sticking labels is somehow too primitive, or something...

Written especially for the channel "Kremlin Reckless"