There was nothing but political motivation and political isolation <in this case>. This is pure revenge for activism and revenge against civil society. Therefore, friends, we proved our position, I and the defense did it to the maximum. It is clear that the question in a political case is not decided by legal arguments. Thanks to the support of our position, we have fully proved that the accusation has collapsed, and that they will endure, they will endure. There is no despondency, the mood is the most cheerful. We will win.
Your Honor, during the trial and in the debate, I and my defense attorneys have fully proved that the entire accusation is empty. No "unwanted foreign Russia" ever existed, and there was no corpus delicti in my actions. Even under the rules of this illegal and repressive Article 284.1, I must be acquitted. All that the prosecution and the investigation brought to court was the testimony of an NTV correspondent, who was even ashamed to come and give it. Apparently, even these people have a conscience. The second is custom-made expertise from custom-made people who can be called science charlatans who sell their conscience and fake dissertations. This is all that the investigation brought to the court after six months of investigation and many months of surveillance. If there had not been a command for political isolation, then there would have been no criminal case. This whole thing is revenge for my political position and political activity.
In our country, the authorities have been depriving society of the desire to participate in politics, to be interested in political life for years, and thereby deprive them of the right to manage their own life and country. It is very important. Apathy for politics is instilled in people through TV, plunged into a lethargic sleep, and those who do not want to fall asleep, who want to be a citizen, they are put in such a cage, in prison, or simply squeezed out of the country. Dreaming of new epaulettes, ranks and promotions, people in cozy offices are sewing new accusations, criminal cases, and, probably, they sincerely think that they are defending their country. To me, this is how they darn the shroud in which they put our future.
“People are being instilled with apathy for politics through TV, plunged into a lethargic sleep”
It comes to a paradox. I communicate with many people, in the pre-trial detention center I talked with employees, talked with a young guy, he talked about his views and said: “Here, there are free elections, an independent press, separation of powers. Yes, it is very important". But at the same time, he believes that nothing depends on him, he believes that this is not necessary, and he says to me: “You are a good guy, but you got into politics in vain. Don't do it." After that, they began to talk about his life, and he says that he has a salary of 31,000 rubles a month in Krasnodar, and there are overtime jobs that are not paid, and fines that are removed, and then he began to talk about his mother, who works in kindergarten and receives 16 thousand rubles. And he does not connect these things with what is happening.
Over the past 20 years, we have been weaned from recognizing our political rights and understanding the importance of civil society. A person does not understand that these are directly related things. It turns out that a person does not participate in political life, does not believe in civil society, does not understand that free elections are a guarantee that there will be no embezzlement of public funds, that freedom of assembly and rallies is an opportunity to unite and defend one’s rights, that an independent press is this is an opportunity for transparency of power and an opportunity to declare that a person is humiliated, and how he can stand up for himself. The authorities do their best to make sure that people do not understand that poverty and lack of rights are a direct consequence of the lack of civil rights, that if there is no independent press, opposition, competition in power, trade unions in the country, then everything will continue like this - small salaries , lawlessness, and nothing can be done. This is what we oppose - me, my colleagues and many people around the country who also oppose.
“The authorities are doing their best to make sure that people do not understand that poverty and lack of rights are a direct consequence of the lack of civil rights”
Who will stand up for their rights if there are no elections? Who cares about a person's opinion at all, if any official or deputy depends only on how loyal he is to the leadership, and his efficiency, helping people and votes are not important? He receives such a small salary, from which overtime is deducted, not because the system is unfair, but because he has deprived himself of the opportunity to participate in political life. Those people who talk about it, who do not want to be in this apathy, they are imprisoned in such cages.
It seems that there are not many of us, we have only a few thousand political prisoners in the country for one hundred and forty million people. You might think that a couple of thousand is not so much. What difference does it make what the guy in the cage says? Now I will talk, I will be convicted, the investigation will get a promotion, and everyone will be happy.
It may even seem that the state is fighting a group of outcasts. Well, just think, some people who perform. In fact, it is much deeper - it is a struggle with the future. People who want change, a better life for our country, they say that we need competition, a free press, we don't need military conflicts. These people want a better life for our country, and when they are fought against, they deprive us of the future. The more repressions, the more bans, the more a piece of the future is being taken away from us. It may seem that everyone has their own prediction.
I'll show you with an example. Let's go back ten years: there was a good economic prosperity, in general, the Russians lived well and could look to the future with confidence, a little oil and gas paradise. Remember, even then there were the first dispersals of rallies and falsifications, but people in Russia, in principle, for the most part did not pay attention to this. Why worry if you have cheap trips to the Mediterranean? You have weekend shopping at Ikea. You can buy a foreign car for an inexpensive loan. You could go to the cinema on your street in the evening and watch the world premiere. Everything was close, there were no difficulties, and it seemed that it would be forever.
However, we already said then that the country was on a very dangerous path. We talked about the fact that the irremovability and lack of control of power leads not just to slovenliness and corruption, but is the first step into the abyss. We talked about the fact that building an authoritarian power is very dangerous, and this will lead us to a very difficult situation. They shut our mouths, the first criminal cases appeared, people were squeezed out of the country, rallies were dispersed. All this seemed not very important, and now 10 years have passed and, unfortunately, we were right. Right now we are at that point in 2022 when our country is sliding into the abyss, and this is the situation that many of us now feel.
“We were shut up, the first criminal cases appeared, people were squeezed out of the country, rallies were dispersed”
Everyone in everyday conditions and in life situations understands that we are clearly moving in the wrong direction. I listen to new laws and only new prohibitions and restrictions await us ahead. These are the initiatives that deputies and officials offer us. Maybe these bans and new clubs - maybe they are undesirable, if life from them only makes life worse? What the leadership and officials bring to us worsens the lives of people, and I wanted to speak about this from the rostrum, but not from this judicial rostrum, but from the Duma. I went to the polls to talk about it. It is for this reason that this criminal case was invented and this undesirable organization was invented to stop my speeches and stories. That is why I was imprisoned in a pre-trial detention center, and I have spent a year under arrest.
The truth is very dangerous for the authorities. The truth is an important tool that is difficult to stifle with clubs and prohibitions. Each of the people in the hall understands that no matter how they say on TV, a person goes to the store, and there the price tag rises, and there are fewer products.
Despite everything that happened to me, I still believe in the best and believe that the situation will change. There is a simple reason for this. Open Russia has always advocated competition in politics, the economy, and society. We advocated that there should be a future in the country, but a future not for the elite, officials and security forces, but for ordinary people, and that this be a future that is pleasing to everyone and that would be achievable. It seems to me that this is very important, and that in our country the majority of people are honest and decent. These are people who want to live and work for the good of the country, to make sure that we have a comfortable and safe state. They advocate that Russia be a strong but democratic country, and that it be safe and comfortable to live in it, so that everyone feels confident in the future.
"I believe that most people are honest and decent"
I am sure that the majority of our fellow citizens want this. It is important that people feel that the state is not for some big purposes, but for people, so that they understand that it is good to build a business here, start families. To be respected in the world, and not feared because of nuclear weapons or a million-strong army. To be respected for being a strong country and a strong nation with achievements in science, technology and economy. In those areas in which the state does not interfere, we are quite successful and are developing well. You know, but I love my country and I think that it is worthy of the future. We deserve to move forward, towards progress, and not slide into the past. And let those people who stand for the future be imprisoned and squeezed out of the country, but I believe that the situation will change, that changes are not far off. Therefore, I want to say: “Friends, see you in the new and desirable Russia. She will come, we will break through.