Separatist statements are now illegal

I thought it was a joke.

It wasn’t. A new law banning “calls for actions directed against territorial integrity of the Russian Federation” was signed on December 29th 2013. In effect that means separatist statements, including those made in the Internet, are illegal. The fine is up to 300 th. roubles ($10 th.), up to 300 hours of public works, and 3-5 years in prison. “Up to 5 years” usually means “full 5 years”, and “prison” in the Russian context is “low-intensity torture”.

I may have spoken of small cozy nation states with fairly transparent borders as the sort of world I’d prefer living in. Perhaps I’ve even said something about my fear of empires, especially evil ones. Being a wimp, I denounce all my previous views on the subject, stated or implied. Starting today and applying retrospectively to December 29 2013 I’m all for territorial integrity. Now I think that Russia should includes the entire FSU, Eastern Europe, a bunch of client states. Those who don’t like that plan shoud be included there too. 

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