In February of last year, I wrote a blog on Moscow court employee, Natalia Vasilieva, who blew the whistle on the second Khorkovsky trial. She revealed in a television interview that the Khodorkovsky verdict was sent over to her boss, the judge, by higher authorities. Despite his own reservations, the judge sentenced Khodorkovsky to a second jail term as ordered. She was immediately fired and threatened with a defamation suit by the judge.
She was recently interviewed by a dissident producer:
“Did they drive you from work?”
“Whom did you like most of all in the court?”
As she left the interview, everyone tried to shake her hand. “Are you not working now?” Asked one. “No,” she answered. By the way, her husband is also not able to get a job.
Natalia Vasilieva is an example of Putin’s use of “soft power.” His soft power is becoming harder and more violent.