Of Suspected Spies & Cathedrals… and Western Media Hypocrisy

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM—The case of Maria Butina appears to be a disturbing one of the American state framing up a Russian citizen to bolster a political agenda of alleged Russian interference in US elections. Her pre-trial detention in solitary confinement certainly amounts to a form of psychological torture to pressure a confession. Butina is facing several years in prison, despite many observers considering her to be innocent.


The Rule of Law in Russia Under Putin

The 1993 constitution guarantees the presumption of innocence for criminal defendants as well as the right to counsel (Henderson 2011). During Putin’s first two terms as president, he introduced or oversaw the implementation of the rights of habeas corpus and trial by jury, and increased rights to exculpatory evidence (Petro 2018). After certain reforms made by Putin to the criminal code, acquittal rates in bench trials (only heard by a judge) doubled and acquittal rates in jury trials tripled, contributing to a 40 percent drop in the overall incarceration rate and a 95 percent drop in the juvenile incarceration rate since 2001 (Petro 2018).


Guns & Butter – Here’s Russia’s Two-Punch Plan To Help The Venezuelan People

JOAQUIN FLORES—Russian authorities have rolled out a two-part plan to help its strategic partner, Venezuela, out of the deep crisis. The first is aimed immediately at security stability, and involves the use of Kremlin-approved Russian mercenaries from the Wagner corp. Reuters reported earlier today: “Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of U.S.-backed opposition protests, according to two people close to them.