ENGLISH VERSION: Shame… That’s the feeling that comes when you see what those “investigators” are doing
The very people who are entrusted by the State to inquire into violations of the law are now possessed by some unholy passion. Yes, we have heard about searches that they had conducted during the early morning hours. We felt uneasy, but we kept silent. We didn’t know ‘those people’, after all. Maybe they were criminals. Those were the people that we didn't know. They were not ‘ours’. Maybe that was OK.
Now we see one of ‘ours’.
Rev. Alexander Semchenko. A businessman, a Christian, a leader in our Evangelical community. A well known charitable giver. A selfless supporter of numerous worthy causes. An exemplary family man. A gifted leader, with a far-reaching vision.
All these qualities enabled him to restore a dying construction company, to enter the federal power circles, to get the best government contracts for numerous important construction projects.
But this gifted leader is also known as a rather naive and trustful person. This trustfulness has lead him to trouble.
I have no doubt that Semchenko was playing according to the rules established in the business Russia. He was successful in this, and for a while he was needed by the authorities. But he never belonged in the hierarchy of the federal power. He never was "theirs". He was naive enough to trust his business partners; he believed that honest business was possible in our country.
He took risks upon himself, he was not afraid of putting his name at stake, hoping that his friends would not forsake him. He took the most unpopular jobs, such as building the road through the Khimki forest. He knew very well that many people would protest, and accuse him of being too loyal to the high powers. He risked his reputation among evangelicals when he agreed to erect two buildings for the Russian Orthodox Church. He was sincere and naive in these attempts "to serve his country".
When the winds changed, when the government needed to demonstrate how it "fights corruption", then they saw another use for Semchenko.
It is despicable, to wake up an aged man in the middle of the night and to show this on the federal TV channels. There is no excuse for such actions. Everybody knew that he would not ‘escape’. They could issue a subpoena. But they needed a public humiliation. Is this an inquisition times? Are these Dark ages?
I have no doubt that these men in uniforms who treat their fellow citizens of Russia so cruelly, will have to drink the cup of Divine retaliation. For the Lord says, "And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth." (Ezekiel 7:9)
Rev. Semchenko is not a criminal. There is not a single evidence of him violating a law. If there have been misapplications of federal funds during reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theater, then the guilt lies on the government contractor. On those people who signed the documents affirming that everything was done according to the contract. The Committee of state experts has signed the final act that all requirements had been met and all parts of the project completed. How could this happen then -- that something was not in fact done? And Semchenko is to be blamed? Shame on you, fellows.
It is so pathetically obvious that all that staged show with gunmen and a TV crew was needed just to break the man down. And these are government officers! Who would act in such a manner – those seeking to find the truth or those seeking to publically humiliate someone? If you enjoy such a humiliation, you deserve to be called sadists. In the middle of the night you come, blinding this man by TV lights, in his nightgown, unshaven, hardly awake, you film him for national TV.
The investigators, we may understand them – that’s the way they work since Stalin’s times. They have been humiliated, and now they take revenge in humiliating someone else.
The cameramen, they were told that they would film how a hardened criminal is apprehended. They were just doing their job.
But here’s the prime time news on National TV. This is the announcer who works for the government channel. Look how he enjoys telling us about a federal criminal. What right he has to use such words? Has a court spoken? Has the guilt of this man been proven? Are you taking us the TV audience for fellow sadists? You are exposing Russia to shame and ridicule.
You are using modern technology for medieval means…
O Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.
Rev. Yu. Sipko,