The end of 2013 witnessed a flurry of legal activity in the Russian Federation. A number of prominent political defendants—including the members of Pussy Riot; some, but not all, of the Bolotnaya Square demonstrators arrested in May 2012; and the Greenpeace activists arrested offshore three months ago—were released as part of a major amnesty passed by the Russian Duma. President Vladimir Putin’s unexpected pardon of Mikhail Khodorkovsky fueled additional speculation as to the future direction of Russian legal reform. Some observers cited Putin’s own initiative in freeing Khodorkovsky as an encouraging sign, while other commentators insisted that far from having taken a positive step, Putin had been forced to respond to persistent human rights pressures, especially in anticipation of the Sochi Olympics.
Both the amnesty and the pardon overshadowed what was a major milestone in Russian legal history: On Dec. 12, 2013, Russia marked the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. The amnesty itself was initiated as a traditional means of honoring such an important occasion. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $11.99 monthly or $94.99/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Global Insights: Responding to Crises, SCO Finally Embraces Expansion
- Mistral Conundrum Leaves France’s Hollande Navigating Competing Interests
- Global Insights: Once Again Relevant, NATO Will Now Be Judged on Effectiveness
- Diplomatic Fallout: Despite Fighting Words, NATO Haunted by Three Recent Defeats
- China Buys Up European Assets to Push Back Against U.S. Free Trade Deals