The Kremlin can be beaten.
Novaya Gazeta reports that 23-year-old Oleg Kozlovsky has won his battle against Vladimir Putin's Kremlin after it attempted to illegally draft him on December 20, 2007, into the Russian army in order to silence his political activism. On March 4th he returned to Moscow from Ryazan and the next day appeared at the local enlistment office (as shown above) and officially received demobilization status as a reserve. The Russian paper notes that Kozlovsky's release occurs immediately after the conclusion of the presidential election even though the official decision in his case was made on January 29th in response to his vigorous legal attack. The website of Kozlovsky's political organization, Oborona, came under cyber attack in the election run-up and is still inaccessible, forcing Oborona to establish a new web presence, which includes links to a video interview (Russian transcript) of Kozlovsky by the New Times magazine and an audio interview by Echo of Moscow radio (for those who speak Russian). Kozlovsky relates how he was continually monitored and followed throughout his military internment in Ryazan, as if he were a convicted criminal, and he gave assurances that he will in no way curtain is political activity. Instead, he stated that he has concluded from the Kremlin's actions that such activity is even more necessary. He plans to file suit against the local military enlistment office for its illegal actions against him and to seek the dismissal of the ranking officer there as well as financial compensation.
As we've previously reported, sending Kozlovsky into the army was illegal for three reasons: First because he was classified as a reserve officer and had been drafted as an ordinary conscript, second because he was engaged in an approved course of higher education and third because he had a recognized medical disability.
The Moscow Times reports he declared: "It's the old Soviet tactics at work. The problem with that, as ever, is that there is no proof of FSB involvement." He was told by various military personnel that the FSB was guiding the illegal attack, and would like to take action against the FSB as well if proof could be obtained.Will the Kremlin accept this defeat? Or will it pursue the Politkovskaya solution? Only time will tell. The world must now rally to Kozlovsky's aid, as only massive international support can maximize his chances against the malignant forces of the Kremlin. Had not publicity instigated by this blog raised his profile and resulted in several major stories in the MSM, he might still be languishing in the neo-Soviet gulag -- or worse. We cannot expect the Kremlin to simply let him enjoy his victory