My name is Alexei Sakhnin, and in this new cold war, both the warring sides accuse me that I was a foreign agent.
Due to the fact that a few years ago in Russia intensified large-scale protest movement against Putin, Russian television showed a series of “documentaries” about critics of the regime. In them the Russian opposition in General, and we, the members of the Left front, in particular, were described as bribed agents of the Western countries.
In the pictures, secretly made by the security services, you can see not only Russian, but also Lithuanians, Americans, Georgians and Swedes. Sonorous bass broadcasts that we collect materials on the instructions “of the American Embassy in Estonia”.
We are also accused, together with criminals and Nazis, with the support of Western countries trying to organize a coup in Russia.
“Documentary” claims that we are additionally ready to reward its Western sponsors, separating them as a gift a few parts of the territory of Russia.
When they were showing the first films, began General hysteria. Speaker of the state Duma (as in the original article — ed.ed.) loyal to the Kremlin, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has asked the Prosecutor to initiate a preliminary investigation against the leader of the Left front Sergei Udaltsov.
In the end, was put forward formally charged, and more than 30 activists went to prison. However, they were convicted not for treason or espionage, but “only” for participating in demonstrations against Putin, which the court called a “riot.”
I was among those leaders of the Left front, whom the Kremlin and its journalists fear the most. When I began to threaten the prison, I was forced to leave the country. Then most of my friends were already serving sentences. Many of them are still in prison.
When I arrived in Sweden in 2013, I knew that there are some challenges, constraints and contradictions. But I still consider Sweden one of the strongest democracies in the world. What happened with me and my mates at home, here never would have happened. As it turned out, it was an illusion.
At first I accepted with glee. Articles containing criticism of the Russian authorities, were published in all major Newspapers, including, in Expressen and Dagens Nyheter. But it was enough to publish only one text, which differed from the generally accepted narrative of how things have changed.
Of course, I never wrote the texts, justifying the Russian regime, which keeps my friends in prison, and myself were forced to flee.
“Compromised” my report prepared together with the journalist Pen Leander (Per Leander) and dedicated to the events in Ukraine, miserable — in a divided deep contradictions of a country where the Nazis with the approval of the forgetful Western countries suddenly become “defenders of Western values”. At the same time those leftists who for years fought against the world of local oligarchs and against the geopolitical ambitions of the Russian regime, was declared a “fifth column”. Now the left-wing opposition crushed.
How took our story about a motley Ukrainian opposition, reminded me painfully of how I was treated in Russia.
Many Swedish media, including Aftonbladet, reprinted texts written later Yegor made famous by Putilov. Said I’d been a high — ranking agent of the Putin regime, who was sent to Sweden with a mission to affect the Swedish left-wing politicians.
It was said that the Kremlin spin doctors nurtured the entire Russian opposition specifically for this purpose. Of course, no one explained why these “false opposition” locked.
A dirty smear campaign and intimidating propaganda was accompanied, as usual denunciations. An anonymous group of supporters of the “European choice of Ukraine” has started to send letters to political parties, publishing houses and public organisations, with whom I collaborated. They were given to understand that I’m dangerous, and I no better not to have Affairs.
I also learned that they wrote a letter to the Immigration Department and stated that it was rash to give me a residence permit, but better to send me back into the arms of the Russian state.
It is strange that all this nonsense about “the power of the Russian nomenklatura clans”, secret strategies and agents of influence all-powerful enemies of free speech was taken seriously.
Over time it became clear that the author of most of these texts — by the same crook. It was a member of the parliamentary Secretariat of the party “Swedish Democrats”, who wrote under various pseudonyms, and provoked scandals, and was also involved in shady deals with real estate.
Very soon it was charged that he was Russian agent.
Now conspiracy theories Yegor Putilova spread further due to what is called the scientific report of researchers of the Institute of foreign policy. Report Martin Kragh (Kragh Martin) and Sebastian Osburga (Sebastian Åsberg) from the Putilov creations differs only in its much greater scale and a tedious writing style, creating the illusion of an imaginary neutrality of researchers. My report somehow concealed under the name “Andrew” although I write and speak publicly.
Of course, in the text there is no evidence, because none exists. The report collected old and long-debunked rumors and propaganda clichés.
With me Russia was forced to leave and the founder of the Left front Ilya Ponomarev after he was the only one in the Duma voted against the annexation of Crimea.
It Putilov filed legging and Osberg the idea that the Left front may have close ties with the Kremlin authorities. They do not mention that the leaders of this organization for more than four years in jail or exile.
Just as in Russia after the “documentary films” Russian state television about the opposition in Sweden after this report started a witch hunt.
But attempts to discredit dissidents, to hang labels on them, calling someone’s agents, and to expel from public space doomed to failure. We will not betray our beliefs due to threats and slander.