Russian opposition politician Leonid Gozman has been detained for a Facebook post in which he argues that Joseph Stalin is worse than Adolf Hitler, OVD-Info informs, citing defense attorney Yulia Tregubova, who has been helping the politician. According to the source, the post in question was published on October 28, 2020.
The defense attorney also shared that the politician would spend the night before his trial in Tverskoye Police Precinct and that the trial was scheduled for noon on the next day. Gozman is being charged with equating the actions of the USSR and Nazi Germany (under Art. 13.48 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, Part 1).
The offending post reads: “Hitler is an absolute evil, but Stalin is even worse. The SS were criminals, but the NKVD were even more vile because chekists killed their own.”
As SOTAvision reports, the police detained Leonid Gozman at the door of a hospital. He refused to follow them to the precinct, saying he had no papers and a doctor appointment to attend. The policeman followed him into the hospital. Gozman called his lawyer, waited for her arrival, and then headed for the police precinct.
Gozman's Facebook page also features a post published during the war in Ukraine, also mentioning Hitler and Stalin. It reads as follows:
“War is when the real world invades propagandist myths. Stalin made pledges to defeat the enemy at a low price, with a powerful blow, waging war on foreign soil. He seems to have genuinely believed in that. Once the war broke out, he issued Directive No. 1, ordering to push the enemy back to the USSR's borders but to not go beyond them. In all appearances, he did not have the slightest clue what was going on.
Hitler had little regard for Stalin's orders, and the entire nation saw the enemy progress further and further forward, capturing new cities and killing millions. While those far in the rear still had a chance to believe in the tales told by their superiors, those on the front line had no illusions. No one had faith in the spell-casting powers of the high command. Soldiers in trenches traditionally despised or even loathed the numerous ‘political education departments’ that ensured the loud ‘hurrahs’ for those high up in power.”
Earlier, the politician had been equally vocal in his criticism of both Stalin and Hitler.
On July 15, Gozman was reported to have been detained and taken to the Investigative Committee for questioning, after which he had been let go. As he shared with The Insider at the time, he was being prosecuted for failure to report dual citizenship (Art. 330.2 of the Criminal Code). Shortly after, a similar criminal case was initiated against Gozman’s wife.
Leonid Gozman presides over the Union of Right Forces (SPS), a right-wing liberal political party that was active from 1999 to 2008 and then evolved into a political public organization. In the spring of 2021, a Moscow court imposed a 20,000-ruble fine (~$323) on Gozman for rallying in support of Alexei Navalny. In May 2022, Russia’s Ministry of Justice labeled Gozman a “foreign agent”.