Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, told Forbes in an interview that in Russia a “specific mayhem” comes from the law enforcement organs.
“In Russia there is a specific mayhem which no adequate, civilized person will be indifferent towards, and this mayhem comes from the law enforcement organs,” she said. During the interview she did not clarify exactly when or how this mayhem manifests itself.
She mentioned the “mayhem” when asked by the correspondent to compere the protests of the “Yellow Vests” in Paris to the protests in Moscow in summer 2019. The correspondent reminded her that she had spoken about the protests, and asked her to clarify whether she considers them comparable.
In response, Elizaveta Peskova said that the protests in France and Russia “cannot be compared”. One difference that she mentioned was that the French demands were “economic”. She also remarked that the protesters in France have no “action plan”, and that they want to “knock everything off the table” and that “they all just want to destroy”. In contrast, she claimed that the protesters in Russia “institutionalize themselves” and “seek to participate in the government”. “There [in France], the mayhem comes from the people who are protesting,” she concluded.
This is not the first time that Peskova has spoken about protests in Russia. In mid September, she wrote on her blog on the Echo of Moscow radio station’s website that an attempted coup against the head of state could be behind “the absurd injustice” of the indictment against the actor Pavel Ustinov. She wondered whether the three and a half year prison sentence could have been “mayhem from the law enforcers” and “one of the attempts to commit something like a coup, even against the head of state”. Several hours later, the post disappeared from the Echo of Moscow website.
The Tver District Court sentenced the actor Pavel Ustinov to three and a half years in prison in mid September 2019. He was found guilty of violence against a police officer during an unsanctioned protest in Moscow on August 3. Ustinov pleaded not guilty. Numerous actors and celebrities spoke out in support of him. His defense demonstrated that he had not even been taking part in the protest when he was arrested. The court also initially refused to consider a video which shows that Ustinov was simply looking at his cellphone when he was arrested.
On September 20 he was released, following a ruling by the Moscow City Court. At the end of September, the court changed his sentence, making his prison time conditional. The duration was also reduced to one year, with a two year probation period.