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The Code of Conformity Builder

“There is no need to touch the Constitution. Any new comma will affect industry legislation, codes, by-laws, judicial practice, and so on. The first Soviet Constitution was in force for 12 years. “Stalinskaya” – 41 years old. “Brezhnevskaya” – 14 years old. Yeltsinskaya has been operating for 24 years. There is a hope that this will end the leapfrog with the basic laws of the country for the next hundred years, ”said one high-ranking lawyer in 2017. But already three years later, in 2020, the same jurist, along with other state minds, headed the working group on the preparation of amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Now he advocated changes to the Basic Law with the same zeal with which he urged them to prevent them three years ago: “Amendments are a striving for a new level of balance between the branches of government.”

Meet. Pavel Krasheninnikov is an irreplaceable United Russia deputy and an irreplaceable chairman of the State Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation. For 18 years now.

The type of an official who keeps pace with any power – yesterday's, today's, tomorrow's. The main thing is that it should be active. Under Yeltsin, he was the Minister of Justice and a supporter of democratic reforms. Under Putin, he returned the article “Slander” to the Criminal Code. Initiated fines for foreign media agents, refused to check deputies and senators for foreign citizenship, and canceled the president's terms.

And it doesn't matter what Krasheninnikov proclaimed in his scientific works, books and interviews 20, 10 and even a year ago. He tends to change position at lightning speed. A person for whom the main thing in life is to be in the mainstream, to grasp (he has tremendous hypersensitivity) the interests of his superiors and to run, run, sometimes slightly outstripping the leadership.

“Love for legal science”

“The Urals are tough guys, they are not afraid to take on things that would scare others away!” – he characterized Yeltsin in his autobiography. And, of course, he compared with himself. Krasheninnikov is also from the Urals. Parents – construction workers, traveled all over the country. In 1962, they were called to work in the city of Polevskoy, Sverdlovsk Region, where facilities at the Northern Pipe Plant were launched. Pavel Krasheninnikov was born there in 1964. Two years later, the family moved to Magnitogorsk. After school, Krasheninnikov first followed in the footsteps of his parents: he entered the construction and installation technical school. But after graduating, he decided to study as a lawyer. As it is admitted years later, that jurisprudence is his, he understood “in essence as a child” when his father at work began to be pressed, “and I decided that a person should be protected by fair laws.”

Before entering the workers' faculty of the Sverdlovsk Law University, Krasheninnikov served in the aviation unit near Voronezh. He worked there as a fifth-class crane operator. In my free hours I “voraciously read legal codes”, “they were lying around in my crane cabin.”

Studying began in 1985:

“I got on a Wednesday that I didn’t know. After all, the guys studied there – lawyers in the second or third generations. But I had a real love for legal science. “

After graduating from legal, he was offered to remain teaching at the Department of Civil Law. With the thought of becoming a judge, he said goodbye.

In the late 1980s, Krasheninnikov could be found not only at the department giving lectures to students, but also in one of the Sverdlovsk supermarkets: in a rented premises he provided paid legal services to the population. By that time, he had started a family, and it was impossible to live without a part-time job.

The career of a provincial lawyer was developing well. In 1989, Krasheninnikov became an expert on legal issues of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. It's just that drafts of legal acts came to his department of civil law from Moscow for examination. Most of the materials were assigned to a young and ambitious specialist.

He was noticed in Moscow. He got a job on the committee of the Supreme Council on construction, architecture and housing and communal services and at the same time on the committee on security and defense, then headed by Sergei Stepashin (a man of a stormy career: FSB, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Prime Minister, Colonel General). For some time he wandered between Moscow and Sverdlovsk, having managed in 1991 to defend his thesis for the degree of candidate of legal sciences on the topic “Legal regulation of the organization and activities of housing cooperatives.” Dissernet checked it: the future deputy wrote the work himself. The final move to the capital took place in 1993, when Krasheninnikov was summoned to the State Construction Committee, and then to the Ministry of Justice.

The minister

From 1993 to 1996, he was the head of the Department of Civil and Economic Legislation of the Ministry of Justice. His boss is the same Stepashin. His career is rapidly progressing: in 1996-1997 Krasheninnikov was appointed Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Antimonopoly Policy and Support for New Economic Structures. Adopts its first law – banning advertising of financial pyramids, vodka and cigarettes. Later, he admitted that the State Duma provided enormous resistance to the promotion of the law, but the support of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin helped. At Moscow State University he manages to defend his second dissertation – for the degree of Doctor of Law (Dissernet also checked it – everything is clean). And in 97 he became the deputy minister of justice, and in 98, after the dismissal of the Chernomyrdin government, he took the post of minister in the Kiriyenko government.

1998 year. Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and Minister of Justice Pavel Krasheninnikov. Photo: Alexander Danilyushin / ITAR-TASS

He will hold this post for only a year. But this year the current parliamentarian is proud: “I was the one who presented to the Government the draft law on countering extremism. And in order to show how relevant this law is, before the meeting, he went to a book disorder and bought “Mein Kampf” (the book is prohibited from publishing, distributing and storing in Russia – ed.). While speaking, he showed the ministers a check and a book. And the law went … <...> And in 1998 we introduced to the State Duma a law on joining the Protocol on the abolition of the death penalty. But the population did not support this decision then: less than 10% were in favor of the abolition of the death penalty. I asked Dmitry Likhachev to write an article on the death penalty. Especially I went to St. Petersburg, persuaded to take up work. As a result, a long article by Likhachev appeared in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, which made a lot of noise. “

But in August 1999, the newly appointed prime minister, Vladimir Putin, did not find a place for Krasheninnikov in the new government.

Kirienko and Surkov as a “success story”

For some time Krasheninnikov left the civil service – he became the head of the Russian School of Private Law and headed the board of the “Association of Lawyers of Russia”. But he soon accepted an invitation to run for the Duma from the Union of Right Forces, then headed by Kiriyenko, Nemtsov and Khakamada. The Union of Right Forces then spoke from a right-wing liberal position, declaring support for the course towards a free market, but at the same time supported Putin (the latter was even included in the SPS campaign ad with the slogan “Putin is the president, Kiriyenko is the State Duma. Young people are needed!”). In the parliamentary elections of the 99th Union of Right Forces received 8.5% of the vote and was able to form a faction in the State Duma. Remembering that period, Krasheninnikov (as if to be on the safe side) today everywhere says that he was a member of the Union of Right Forces just before it was in opposition to the Unity party (the future United Russia) and Kiriyenko left it. He speaks of the latter with reverence. He never and nowhere publicly recalled the murdered Nemtsov.

“Kiriyenko, as the leader of the liberal party, had normal relations with the Kremlin. Kiriyenko, in fact, created the Union of Right Forces. After he left, the party began to fall apart. He is a systematic, very organized person. The history of the projects he leads is always a success story. ”

1998 year. Photo: Alexander Chumichev and Alexander Sentsov / ITAR-TASS

In 2003, Vladislav Surkov influenced the further success story of Krasheninnikov himself. And Krasheninnikov did not hide this. For example, in 2015 on the air of Echo of Moscow, he said: “In 2003, immediately after the formation of the Duma, various party and state leaders began to summon me to talk. As a result, Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov, the deputy head of the presidential administration of Russia, told me: “We see you as the chairman of the committee on legislation, but give me your word that in a year you will join the party and the United Russia faction. I say, “I agree.” And exactly one year after the elections, day after day, Surkov called me: “Do you remember our conversation?” I say, “I remember.” And he wrote an application for joining United Russia.

This is all there is to know about the worldview, principles and political preferences of Mr. Krasheninnikov.

Krasheninnikov has been in the ruling party for 18 years. Exactly as much as Putin is the president. Pavel Vladimirovich was re-elected to the State Duma five more times: in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2016 and 2021. And in each convocation he headed the Committee on Legislation (now it is officially called the Committee on State Building and Legislation).

Krasheninnikov in the first half of the 2000s is still neutral, however, like the government itself. His strong point – as it once was in the Sverdlovsk supermarket – is the Civil Code. Popularity among the people is brought to him by the laws of “summer cottage” and “garage” amnesty, initiated by him, which really simplified the procedure for registering real estate in ownership.

2012 is a watershed year. Dmitry Medvedev, who was a little president, was replaced by Putin again. The entire bureaucratic apparatus seemed to be engaged in eliminating the consequences of Medvedev's indulgences. And the name of the lawmaker Krasheninnikov has increasingly become associated with repressive laws.

With Boris Nemtsov. Photo: Nikolay Malyshev and Vladimir Musaelyan / ITAR-TASS

Libel Law

In the summer of 2012, Krasheninnikov was one of the authors of a bill that returned Article 128.1 to the Russian Criminal Code. – “Slander”. Literally a year earlier, in 2011, the article was decriminalized as part of the initiatives of President Medvedev. Now, reanimated, it provided for increased fines (up to 5 million) and imprisonment for up to 5 years. “We believe that the decriminalization of the article has not led to anything good, and therefore we are introducing a bill that criminalizes this composition,” Krasheninnikov told Interfax (needless to say that he supported decriminalization during Medvedev’s presidency?). “Appointment for various slanderous fabrications, in other words, the spread of false information about a person, administrative fines of up to three thousand rubles have led to the fact that some citizens with practically impunity accuse people of the most terrible sins, calling them bandits, terrorists, corrupt officials.”

Krasheninnikov did not specify who exactly he had in mind, but his description of the “intruders” suited the head of the human rights society “Memorial” * Oleg Orlov and the politician Alexei Navalny. The former was accused of slander by the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, and tried to sue him in connection with Orlov's statement about the responsibility of the Chechen leader for the death of human rights activist and correspondent of Novaya Gazeta Natalya Estemirova. As for Navalny, in 2011-2012 he became the author of the definition “a party of crooks and thieves”. United Russia members tried to prosecute Navalny in the courts, but to no avail – there was no corpus delicti.

And now the line-up was returned. Despite protests from the journalistic community, which saw the return of the libel law as a threat to freedom of speech in the country, the parliament approved the amendment. And 8 years later, in 2020, Krasheninnikov, along with the rest of the party members, will vote for increased fines and prison terms for libel on social networks.

To date, several bloggers, activists and politicians, including Navalny, have been convicted under the article “Libel”.

“The law of scoundrels”

In late 2012, President Putin signed Bill 186614-6 (often referred to as the “response to the Magnitsky Act”), one of the amendments to which prohibited US citizens from adopting Russian children. United Russia proposed to name the law in memory of Dima Yakovlev, who died in an American family. Most of the factions in the State Duma voted for its adoption. Pavel Krasheninnikov, head of the Committee for State Building and Legislation, was no exception. However, after three years on the air of the “Debriefing” program on “Echo of Moscow”, he could not answer why he voted for this law:

P. Krasheninnikov : If there are laws that, in my inner conviction, need to be implemented, but there is opposition, including within the largest and best party, which is called“ United Russia ”, I convince my colleagues, and we make a decision. – everyone votes.

Presenter T. Felgenhauer : That is, even if you have an internal contradiction, and you do not want to vote for “Dima Yakovlev's law”, you will vote for it?

P. Krasheninnikov : I will vote, after all, you understand, we must argue before making a decision … If a decision has been made, then we must carry it out. Otherwise, everything will fall apart.

Presenter I. Vorobyova : Did you want to vote for this law?

P. Krasheninnikov : Well, I think it is a transitional law. Not for long. In this situation, he was forced to.

I. Vorobyova : But listen, I didn't ask you about that. Did you want or did not want to vote?

P. Krasheninnikov : What do you mean: “I wanted it, I didn't want it”? I voted. “

Media-foreign agents

In late fall 2017, President Putin signed into law a law allowing the media to be recognized as foreign agents. Exactly four days after that, Senator Andrei Klishas and Deputy Krasheninnikov introduced a bill to the State Duma that provided for fines of up to 5 million rubles. for “violation” of the law on media-foreign agent.

The State Duma approved the bill. This was the beginning of a repressive campaign against journalists unheard of in modern Russian history.

Andrey Klishas and Pavel Krasheninnikov. Photo: Anna Isakova / TASS

As for NGOs and charitable organizations, they began to be labeled a few years earlier, when the main law on “foreign agents” was passed in 2012. Thus, apart from other human rights movements such as “For Human Rights” * Lev Ponomarev *, the register of foreign agents includes organizations engaged in unique educational, scientific, educational and historical activities. Starting with Memorial and ending with Dmitry Zimin's Dynasty Foundation *, which included programs to support gifted schoolchildren and help teachers from the provinces. At the time of 2021, “Memorial” was imposed with multimillion-dollar fines, the “Dynasty” fund was forced to cease to exist. And Ponomarev received from the Ministry of Justice the status of an “individual foreign agent” and is prosecuted, for example, for not putting the appropriate mark under the congratulations on Facebook to the Nobel laureate Muratov.

“I believe that any country should protect itself from foreign influence. From this point of view, everything is correct, ”Krasheninnikov commented on the fate of educational and human rights organizations in Russia on the air of the Yekaterinburg TV company Fourth Channel.

As for journalism, one of the first persons involved in the law “On Foreign Media Agents” in 2017 in Russia was Radio Liberty * (Radio Free Europe LLC *, representing the interests of the RFE / RL media corporation in our country). After another 4 years, the activities of the radio station in Moscow turned out to be blocked: the courts, according to the protocols of Roskomnadzor and the statement of the general director of RIA-FAN Evgeny Zubarev, imposed unaffordable fines on the editorial office for allegedly “repeated malicious violation” of the procedure for the activities of the “media-foreign agent” (by the summer of 2021 the amount fines approached 200 million). The editorial office was pursued by bailiffs, its director was threatened with a criminal case. As a result, the Russian office curtailed its work in Russia and removed its employees from the country.

“My principle is to adhere to a legal position as much as possible, not a political one. We look without fail: whether the adoption of the law gives rise to the narrowing or expansion of rights and freedoms. And for me, of course, a positive result is the expansion of the freedoms and rights of Russians, ”said its hero in the book“ Conversations with Pavel Krasheninnikov ”about himself.

By an obvious coincidence, this book saw the light of day in the days when the deputy introduced the law on fines for “media-foreign agents”.

By October 2021, the register of foreign media outlets included 85 publications (including individual journalists-individuals), and the register of foreign-media non-profit organizations included 76 legal entities and a dozen foreign-physical agents who collaborated with these non-profit organizations (even pensioners who worked as election observers were included) from the organization “Voice” *).

Amendments to the Constitution

In January 2020, President Putin appointed Krasheninnikov and his permanent co-author Klishas as co-chairs of the working group on the preparation of amendments to the Russian Constitution. One of the amendments, as you know, nullified the president's terms. The work was responsible. The amendments were initiated by the President himself. The only thing that, as always, added a spoonful of salt was the criticism with which human rights defenders, the opposition, independent lawyers and the Venice Commission came down on the amendments. Putin has been accused of striving to become president for life. Status and position obliged Krasheninnikov to respond to criticism. Throughout the months of the group's work, he assured journalists and independent deputies that there was no plan to reset the president's terms.

“There is no zeroing here, if a person has already been” president “twice, then, probably, he will not even be able to become a presidential candidate,” he said, for example, in February 2020 to deputies from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation during the discussion of the amendments.

The amendments were voted on in June 2020. According to the CEC, the amendments to the Basic Law were approved by 77.92% of voters, while 21.27% were against. Observers noted unprecedented vote rigging. A few months later, the amendments entered into force. One of them officially stated that the presidency can be held for no more than two terms, but this limitation “does not apply to those who served as head of state before the amendments entered into force.” That is, the terms of Vladimir Putin have been reset.

Participant of a solo picket against the zeroing of presidential terms in front of the building of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, March 2020. Photo: RIA Novosti

Krasheninnikov did not give more comments about the impossibility of zeroing. And he only noticed that the amendment to the Constitution on the timing “removes the possibility of a potential crisis in power” and exclaimed somewhat anxiously: “There are people who will say that everything is fine now. Yes, it’s okay now, but what will happen in two or three years? Why should we lay down completely man-made stories that can explode? “

Patriotic MPs and extremist oppositionists

The years 2020–2021 turned out to be the most fruitful for Pavel Vladimirovich.

In the fall of 2020, he and again Klishas introduced an amendment to Putin's draft law on the “Constitutional Court” prohibiting the judges of the Constitutional Court from publishing their dissenting opinions in the public domain. “This is necessary to avoid the politicization of the constitutional process. This is the only thing for which it is needed, ”Krasheninnikov told reporters. The amendment was approved.

In the same fall of 2020, Krasheninnikov said that special checks of all senators and deputies for foreign citizenship or residence permits “will not be carried out, but if detected, this will be a reason for dismissal.” The MP stressed that the draft law does not envisage restrictions on the source of information about the foreign citizenship of parliamentarians: “a wide variety of information is possible, and if it is confirmed, then this will become the basis for ”.

A year later, when Russian officials became the leaders of the international investigative “Pandora's Archive” in terms of the number of offshore companies registered in their name, Pavel Krasheninnikov, head of the Duma Committee on State Construction and Legislation, for some reason did not demand anyone's resignations. Although foreign offshore companies were found, among other things, among members of the State Duma and the Federation Council (his colleagues in United Russia), ironically, once, like Krasheninnikov, who voted for the Dima Yakovlev law, the law on foreign agents, and sanctions against the United States and the European Union.


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