The dismemberment of the Soviet Union should not be regarded as a catastrophe, as the Russian President Vladimir Putin described it. It should be regarded as a rule, said Doctor Habilitate of Law Boris Negru. According to him, the USSR was a state entity where most of the basic human rights and freedoms were ignored and such practices continue in Russia today. In a public debate staged by IPN News Agency, the historian said that Russia ignores the international legislation on human rights and gives priority to the national laws following a decision taken by the Constitutional Court of Russia.
The rights to intellectual property, to the freedom of expression, to the freedom of assembly were almost inexistent notions in the Soviet Union. The Soviet citizens lived in an illusory world that was excessively controlled by a party, stated jurist Boris Negru.
“The principle of presumption of innocence, which is apparently natural, didn’t work in the Soviet Union. Or the non-retroactivity of laws. The law adopted today is applied for the future, not for the past. The “liberators” came in 1940 and mass deportations started in June. About 14,000 families were deported. The figure refers not to persons but to families that were numerous,” said university professor Boris Negru.
According to him, in three decades of the fall of the USSR, Russia didn’t manage to become an authentic democracy. The totalitarian Soviet system became a reality in current Russia.
“At formal level, things stand well in the Russian Federation. The Russian constitution is based on the principles stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Charter. But the Russian Federation no longer gives priority to the international regulations on human rights when it goes to deviations. The Russian Federation, by a Constitutional Court decision, no longer recognizes the priority of international regulations against the domestic ones as the violation of the human rights and freedoms is too evident. In the case of elections, there are many examples in Russia when the persons didn’t go to the polls, but they were actually registered as participants in elections. Or, they say that the ballot is secret and the vote is freely expressed but start criminal cases against those who write No to war in the ballot,” stated Boris Negru.
He noted that the fall of the USSR should not be regarded as a tragic event as this brought independence, freedom and prosperity to many of the then member states.
“The dismemberment of the Soviet Union should not be regarded as a catastrophe. It should be regarded as a rule. The empires appear, reach an apogee in development and then disappear. In the Soviet Union, the freedom of expression existed only when it went to rhetoric that was suitable to the rulers. The right to meetings and assemblies represented actually the right to mandatorily take part in demonstrators on May 3 and November 7,” stated Boris Negru.
The public debate “Basic human rights and freedoms in the USSR: Myths and realities” is the fourth installment of the series “100 Years of USSR and 31 Years without USSR: Nostalgia for Chimeras”. The series of debates is staged by IPN News Agency with support from the German foundation “Hanns Seidel”.