Konstantin Aranovsky, a Russian Constitutional Court judge believes that the Russian Federation should renounce the status of the successor to the Soviet Union, as, in his opinion, the latter was created illegally and pursued a repressive and terrorist policy.
Konstantin Aranovsky, a judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, expressed his dissenting opinion on the case of compensation for the losses of three women who lost their homes due to the repressive policy of the USSR. The verdict in the case was issued by the court last December. The court took the side of the plaintiffs. Aranovsky did not oppose the court resolution in essence, but called into question the rationality of apportioning responsibility for the crimes of the Soviet state system to Russia. In his opinion, Russia is not a successor of the Soviet Union, but a substitute for it on the territory previously occupied by the USSR.Aranovsky defined the Soviet Union as an illegally established state entity. In this case, Russia that occupied the territory of the Soviet Union, should take into account the consequences of establishment of the USSR, including the rehabilitation of victims of its policy. However, rehabilitation should not be portrayed as an admission of its illegal actions and compensation for the damage caused by it, says Kommersant FM. Aranovsky considers the Soviet Union's policy as systematic repression and terrorist acts. Russia should not be responsible for them. For this purpose, its Constitution should stipulate that modern Russia has nothing to do with the crimes of Soviet totalitarian regime. He insists that Russia was formed not as a new form of the USSR, but in its place and against the Soviet Union. Aranovsky underlines that the damages to victims of the Soviet policy should be awarded on the grounds of mercy, commitments to truth and responsibility.Plaintiffs in the high-profile case demanded to provide them with housing in Moscow. All women were born in a special settlement for the people who were repressed in Soviet times, although their parents had lived in the capital before expulsion. The plaintiffs considered their Moscow flats to be illegally taken away by the Soviet regime. The Constitutional Court found their claims legitimate. However, Aranovsky stresses that although Russia replaced the Soviet but not carry on its policies, it is obliged to take into account the negative consequences of the previous state formation. In Aranovsky’s opinion, the responsibility for years of repression and other terrorist actions against its own citizens lies with the USSR, and it cannot be transferred to another subject of legal relations, namely, to Russia.From the legal point of view, the Russian Federation is not interested in officially admitting that it was involved in the repressions of the USSR and in positioning itself as the successor to the country of collapsed socialism. At one time, the Soviet Union was illegally formed, having removed the Constituent Assembly. Later the USSR organized repressions and other crimes against humanity. The state with the history of this kind has no right to exist in the modern world, as it insults of freedom and justice, says Aranovsky.According to him, the state system of the Soviet Union was based on the illegal merging of the political parties and the entities endued with power, which had no relationship to the constitutional state system. The Soviet Union systematically repressed its citizens and allowed itself to rehabilitate victims selectively over short periods of time. However, they retained some fictitious guilt on them. At the same time, the state did not compensate the repressed individuals for the damages and did not recognize responsibility for what it had done. On the other hand, Russia has no reason to hold itself responsible for the crimes of totalitarianism, since contemporary Russia was established as an alternative to and a substitute for it, according to Aranovsky’s differing opinion. He also recalls that firefighters do not declare themselves successors to arsonists in order to extinguish fires and save people. Therefore, one doesn't need to be considered a successor of the Soviet system to correct its crimes, it's enough to adhere to the principles of mercy and truth, said Aranovsky.Aranovsky's dissenting opinion caused discontent in the State Duma. Mikhail Yemelyanov, first deputy speaker of the lower house committee on state construction and legislation, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that he regarded Aranovsky's opinion as strange and not adequate to the position of the Constitutional Court judge. One shouldn't mix the continuity of the state and the political system, Yemelyanov said.Oleg Orlov, chairman of the board of the Memorial human rights center, highlighted that, unfortunately, at the time of the collapse of the USSR, Russia did not declare separation from its criminal and terrorist actions. However, Russia’s recognition of responsibility for political crimes of the USSR is an obligatory and unconditional step of any state that would have emerged on the territory of the Soviet Union.