Alone in the field

A strange choice of officials who prefer to defend  the citizen of Cyprus Deripaska instead of patriot of Russia Ilyumzhinov?

Rumour has it that on the eve of Catholic Christmas, panic and hysteria reigned in the US treasury. It’s all because good fellow Oleg Borisovich Deripaska went to fight for justice and human rights with the overseas bureaucratic monster.

He filed a lawsuit against the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury because of the unfair and illegal sanctions imposed on him last spring.

But in December, the dashing descendant of the Kuban Cossacks won a major victory. The American department, still dodging like a worm on a hook, was forced to agree to declassify the documents on the basis of which the Russian businessman was included in the SDN - a black list of nationals, entities and organizations with which ordinary Americans are forbidden to conduct business. They must be nervous at the US Treasury: formidable documents may well turn out to be an empty collection of fiction and murky rumours, and this will further lower the already far from brilliant reputation of the department.

It is unclear, however, how this will help Mr Deripaska get out of the sanctions: our “geopolitical partners” are glorious for ignoring any justification and evidence. But this move inspired some of the Russian journalists to declare this businessman "the only person involved in anti-Russian sanctions lists who openly and publicly began the struggle for their good name." And the Russian edition of Forbes even declared him as one of the “Heroes of the Year”.
Our journalists are too lazy to ask, “OK Google, who else has stood up against sanctions?” The harsh reality is that Mr Deripaska is neither the only nor the first on this list.
And about heroism: as far as one can understand, in a lawsuit the businessman complains that “due to sanctions, his fortune declined by more than $ 7.5 billion,” which led to “the complete destruction of wealth, reputation and economic means to existence. We don’t see requirements of respect for human rights, the presumption of innocence and the restoration of justice in one of the key US government body.
Meanwhile, it’s precisely for these basic democratic values ​​that another Russian businessman, politician and diplomat Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has been fighting for four years. And he is the one who leads this battle practically alone, without any assistance from the state and society. Yes, he demands not only to lift sanctions against him, but also to compensate for moral damage estimated by him at $ 50 billion. By the way, the sixth FIDE president has long stated that he intends to spend this amount on the development of chess and ... the creation of a fund to support democratic processes in the USA .
Recall that the US Treasury introduced Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on the SDN list on 25 November, 2015, and FIDE President himself learned about this from press reports. Naturally, he did not put up with such medieval savagery and tried to contact the American department for clarification. It immediately became clear that US laws prohibit the country's departments from accepting any claims from foreign citizens. Ilyumzhinov and his lawyers had to spend a lot of time and effort just to simply enter into correspondence with the department.
However, it seems that this rule does not apply to holders of Cypriot passports. Oleg Deripaska, whose surname appeared on the sanctions lists on April 6, 2018, almost immediately managed to contact the U.S. Treasury Department, humiliatingly asking them to remove him from sanctions. Then he obediently carried out the actions prescribed to him, reducing his personal stake in the key companies of his holding and actually transferring their management to the control of citizens of the United States and Britain. And - voila! - On May 2 of the same year, the Ministry of Finance graciously renewed the En + license to work in international markets, and on January 27, 2019 completely lifted sanctions from a number of Deripaska enterprises.
It should be noted that democratic Americans simply fooled a gullible Russian businessman: five of his companies, including The GAZ group, like itself, still remains under sanctions, even after fulfilling boorish and unreasonable conditions.
Ilyumzhinov did not have and does not have any material interests in the United States. Unlike the aluminium king, who invested more than $ 40 million in real estate in New York and Washington, he does not even own a dog kennel overseas. Therefore, in his case, they made a tricky manoeuvre: FIDE declared 2016 the USA Chess Year and planned to host the World Cup in New York, as well as a series of other chess events in this country. Sanctions were supposed to put an end to these plans, which would inflict a severe blow to the barely restored authority of FIDE.
The ministers of the State Department in FIDE hastened to declare: Ilyumzhinov must leave so as not to jeopardize the federation. But it didn’t went as was planned, he simply delegated part of his powers to Vice President Georgios Makropoulos. And the US authorities made fools of themselves: the championship in New York seems to be the first in history that FIDE president was not allowed to attend. About ten years later they will forget about sanctions, but this incident will remain on the USA forever.
It was Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who was the first to “declassify” the grounds on which his last name was included in the sanctions list. We didn’t put quotes in vain: upon receiving the document, Ilyumzhinov’s lawyers gasped: a thick (40 pages) package contained copies of the orders of the US presidents, some departmental instructions and ... two slurred articles from the British The Guardian. What could be classified and for what? There is only one explanation: so that no one finds out the basis of rubbish American bureaucrats are basing the serious decisions. But now, Deripaska’s lawyers boldly demand that similar documents be provided, not without reason assuming that the same rubbish will be there.
And only after Ilyumzhinov won similar lawsuits, Deripaska decided to seek a court decision on the removal of slanderous material from the websites of The Nation, The Telegraph and The Times. But Kirsan Nikolayevich forced the publication of The Week to publicly apologize during the trial in the London court, while Oleg Borisovich, apparently deciding to play it safe, appealed to his native Krasnodar Regional Court.
Why we - even those who should be aware of such news through the nature of our work - have not heard anything about these or the new victories of Ilyumzhinov in his confrontation with the American bureaucracy, which has lost all sorts of ideas about human rights and justice? After all,  the case of Ilyumzhinov could inspire not only Deripaska, who is clearly following in his footsteps, but also thousands of people on the SDN list around the world.
But a large multilingual news agency that receives good money from the Russian budget precisely in order to talk about such news keeps silent. The patriots is silent at night, clogging up prime time television with discussions on the topic "What is new in the Ukraine?" Leave Forbes alove , after all, it is having Western “universal” roots but, what about our media monsters?
Where have our ardent human rights defenders gone, right up to the Public Chamber and the Human Rights Council under the President of Russia? What, the injustice happening overseas is already ceasing to be so?
Unfortunately, the leaders of the chess federation have disgraced their motto. “Gens una sumus” (we are one family), you say? Something is different. However, it is likely that the new FIDE president has so many worries now that he simply does not care about the problems of his predecessor. It would also be interesting to know more about those worries: almost nothing is heard of his activities either.
There is one more reason. For some time, the litigation of Ilyumzhinov in the United States, as far as you can see, has been suspended. Overseas advocacy is expensive, and it is pointless to meddle in this legal jungle without reliable and sensible assistance. But for some reason, neither Deripaska, who suddenly became enraged by a thirst for justice only after he was sanctioned, nor his business colleagues extended a helping hand to the pioneer of this struggle. They hoped that they would be spared?  Not a chance.
Alas, there are the same claims to our own state. “The state protects the interests of Russian business all over the world. This is the duty of any state,” said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on sanctions against Deripaska. This is good and wonderful, but is it not necessary to defend the rights and the honest name of a Russian citizen who raised the authority of Russia in one of the largest sports federations? Apart from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, not one of the Russian departments, not one of the chambers of parliament raised their voice in defence of Ilyumzhinov, nor offered any effective assistance. Even in Lavrov’s  department they took rather symbolic steps.
Some former Russian journalist, who recently moved to his western neighbours, somehow told our soldiers: “The motherland will let you down, son. Always". This gentleman, known not so much for his publications as but rather  for acting the role of his own corpse in the staging of the local secret service, of course, habitually lied. But, looking at the history of the struggle of Ilyumzhinov for the restoration of justice, you begin to think that even a broken clock shows the right time twice a day.
Comparison of the “cases” of Deripaska and Ilyumzhinov does not bode well for our country and society. The victory of the first in an American court will only replenish his wallet, the defeat of the second will show the compradors on whose side the strength is.
At the same time, Ilyumzhinov is fighting not only for his own reputation, but for the priority of international law and human rights - values ​​whose unconditional support is constantly declared by the Russian leadership. So why is he left as the only warrior in the field?

Purvya Mendyaev