Those forecasts are proving to be right. First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin penned a March 16 op-ed in Kyiv-based Law and Business weekly, essentially equating criticism with defamation and libel. He wants the ability to make such criticism a criminal offense, presumably punished by prison or fines, although he didn’t specify.

He seems to liken those who work in the judicial system as being part of a “divine” pursuit, suggesting that they should be immune from any criticism and pressure.

It’s hard to imagine such dangerously anti-democratic thoughts are being held by someone who wields such great powers as Kuzmin. He also seems to see conspiracies everywhere. He draws a connection between Victor Pinchuk and his father-in-law, ex-President Leonid Kuchma, and criticism that Kuzmin has received from Steven Pifer, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Anders Aslund, an academic.

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