President Obama recently visited Russia and had conversations with President Medvedev in which the Russian leader asserted his firm belief in freedom and democracy. Unfortunately, he never communicated that belief to his prime minister, the ever powerful Putin. The Russian police, the Federal Security Service and other agencies will now have power to open the mail of people for whom they suspect of criminal behavior. The Russian Constitution, Article 23, provides for “privacy of correspondence” but apparently the police and other security agencies never go around to reading it. The new regulation does not mention anything about obtaining a court order although the law requires such action prior to checking mail.
According to security agencies, “the document was approved by the Justice Ministry, which means that it corresponds with the Constitution..” This is an interesting way to determine if something is constitutional, ask those violating the Constitution if what they are doing is legal!!