Demand the Release of Boris Kagarlitsky

Russian Socialist Movement

A FEW HOURS ago it became known that the FSB [Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation–editor] had opened a criminal case against well-known left-wing political scientist and sociologist, editor of the Rabkor online magazine Boris Kagarlitsky. The formal reason for initiating the case was the alleged “justification of terrorism,” but we are absolutely sure that the persecution of Kagarlitsky is a political reprisal for his views.

Recently, Boris has been actively commenting on the current political situation, openly criticizing both the domestic and foreign policies of the Russian authorities.

The regime repeatedly tried to silence the political scientist – in 2018, the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (ISMO), headed by Kagarlitsky, was recognized as a foreign agent, and in April last year, the status of a foreign agent was assigned to himself.

Having started his activity back in the Soviet Union, Kagarlitsky was first imprisoned during the rule of Yuri Andropov. Under Yeltsin, during the events of October 1993, he opposed the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet, for which he was detained and severely beaten. In 2021, for calls to participate in protests after the elections to the State Duma, he served 10 days of administrative arrest. Now Kagarlitsky can go to jail for up to five years.

The criminal case against Boris Kagarlitsky is an attack on the entire left movement. You can disagree as much as you like with individual statements and conclusions made by him in different periods of public activity, but we will resolve all our contradictions in the course of an open and honest discussion, when Boris is free.

We call on all socialist and communist organizations to organize a broad solidarity campaign and demand the immediate release of Boris Kagarlitsky and all political prisoners.

In his latest articles and speeches, Kagarlitsky remained invariably optimistic about the prospects for the current Russian government, or rather, their absence. Objective reality shows that this optimism is fully justified – starting a total cleansing of the remnants of civil society, the authorities are trying to plug a leak the size of a core with a bottle cap.

Organize a broad solidarity campaign and demand the immediate release of Boris Kagarlitsky and all political prisoners!

26 July 2023

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