Top Cop Says Russia Needs 'National Idea' Underpinned in Law

Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin.

Russia’s top investigator has proposed changes to legislation that would underpin state ideology in law, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.

Speaking at a conference titled “Crime and Punishment: Vice and Atonement,” Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, said that a national idea was needed and that such an idea should be supported by legislation.

Bastrykin was even reported to have posited the three guiding principles of such an idea.

First, it should “reflect not short-term interests of the state and market,” but “strategic interests and long-term perspectives.”

Second, the “historical traditions, mentality of the people, geopolitics, the economy, demography and ecology” should be taken into consideration.

Third, ideology should cover all aspects of “public” life: “social, political, economic, spiritual.”

A Kremlin hardliner, Bastrykin is not averse to making brash statements of political intent. In April, he called for a toughening of Russia’s criminal justice system, saying it was time to “stop playing false democracy” and calling for an end to “pseudo-liberal values.”

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