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After police broke a bystander's leg before a protest, the Russian legal system did nothing. We asked the Kremlin why.

Source: Meduza
Courtesy of Konstantin Konovalov

Meduza: In August, you commented on the case of the Moscow-based designer Konstantin Konovalov, whose leg was broken by police officers shortly before the July 27 protest. At the time, you said that every case should be handled individually. Yesterday, the Moscow City Court put an end to this particular case: It ruled that the Investigative Committee acted correctly when it refused to investigate Konovalov’s broken bone. What is the Kremlin’s opinion on where Konovalov can turn now if neither Russia’s law enforcement apparatus nor its courts want to deal with the police officers who broke his leg at the protest?

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov: I will leave that without comment because, to be honest, I don’t know the answer to that question. He probably has attorneys who can determine which tactics and strategies are appropriate. If he wants to continue the case.

Meduza: Could you offer any evaluation of a situation in which it turns out that it’s impossible to achieve justice in Russia if police officers break your leg?

Peskov: There has been a court decision on which I do not have the right to comment.

Ekho Moskvy: To what degree does the president follow or not follow this kind of situation? Protecting citizens’ rights is a function of the presidency, among other things. To what degree is he satisfied with how the law enforcement and judicial systems here work to protect citizens’ rights?

Peskov: Within the structures established by law, citizens can protect their own rights, which they do. In case of a disagreement at any given stage, there are possibilities for appeal and so on and so forth. Therefore, I have nothing to add here. We cannot comment on court decisions.

Ekho Moskvy: Is the Kremlin really unconcerned about a situation in which somebody just goes for a run in the morning, a police officer breaks his leg, and everybody just shrugs and says, “Well, what can we do, that’s the system”?

Peskov: I cannot add anything to what has already been said.

Transcription by Mikhail Zelenskiy

Translation by Hilah Kohen