Russian Show Trials

Brittney Griner is the American professional basketball player who this week was sentenced to nine years in the Russian prison system. Two years ago American security expert, Paul Whelan, was convicted of receiving Russian state secrets. He has been detained in a Russian prison for forty months of his nine year sentence. Both were show trials.

In February 2022, Brittney Griner was detained by Russian customs officials after vaping cartridges containing “hashish oil” were found in her luggage. She claimed that the substance was medical cannabis that was prescribed to her in the USA for the treatment of sports related injuries. She explained that she had “packed in a hurry” and it was never her intention to “smuggle drugs.” She apologized, pleaded guilty and was convicted. Cannabis in Russia is illegal.  Article 228 of the Russian criminal code is known as “the people’s statute” because there are more people imprisoned under it than any other crime – more than 25% of all prisoners.

 In June 2020, Paul Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian prison camp. He was dressing for a friend’s wedding when a pack of Russian intelligence officers burst in to his Moscow hotel room and pushed him to the floor. A USB drive containing classified secrets was “found” in his pocket. Whelan had apparently been set up by an old Russian friend who had just left his room after giving him a drive supposedly containing recent holiday photos. Whelan’s defense team believes this arrest was planned solely to provide the Russian state with a bargaining chip for the exchange of certain Russian prisoners legitimately charged with crimes in the U.S.

Paul Whelan trying to communicate with the outside world.

These two cases have separate sets of details, but both situations are using people for political purposes. The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential considers “Show Trials“, “Civilian Political Prisoners” and “Institutional Lying” as very serious issues. At the root of these problems is a disregard of human rights and lack of respect for the truth. The ways that Russian Government employs its “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model is explained by The Rand Corporation, a nonpartisan global policy think tank. And according to Mother Jones magazine, the “firehose technique” is increasingly being used by American politicians these days.

Still the worst thing about these Russian “show trials” is that the lives of the politically accused, who are often innocent, are irretrievably being ruined in the horrid Russian prisons. Nothing is being done to remedy this situation. It’s a deliberate choice. But that’s another story.

Brittney Griner

Paul Whelan

Brittney Griner was born on a Thursday in the zodiac sign of Libra. Jupiter rules her INNER SELF and her OUTER SELF is governed by Venus. Those born with the #55 Dayology Signature are confident and able to deal with the public. They expect fairness but do not always receive it.

Paul Whelan was born on a Thursday in the zodiac sign of Pisces. Jupiter rules both his INNER SELF and OUTER SELF. Individuals born with the #60 Dayology Signature are relatively sure of themselves and tend to chart their own success by their own personal values.

Yes, these two figures were born on Thursday. People born on this day of the week usually see themselves as fortunate and treated well by others. So how is it that both became wrongly convicted and punished so harshly? These two individuals seemed to have had it good for a while. One performed as a star athlete and the other as a high level security expert. Perhaps they become over-confident and forgot how restrictive regimes like Russia look for pawns to trade in their nefarious dealings. It is very clear that both Griner and Whelan were targeted as “prizes” by their captors. “High value” people were needed to trade for a specific Russian criminals who are legally imprisoned for crimes committed in the United States and throughout the world.

A few days ago Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that the Kremlin is “ready to discuss this topic (exchanging prisoners), but within the framework of the channel that has been agreed by the presidents (Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin)  and no matter what anyone says publicly, this channel will remain in effect.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken states that the US will “pursue” Russia’s latest offer to discuss at the presidential level a prisoner swap involving imprisoned basketball star Brittney Griner.” State Department spokesperson Ned Price assured us on CNN that “the case of Paul Whelan is one we continue to work day in, day out.”

The Shadow Effect

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