11:03 Apr. 25, 2016
New ombudsman Moskalkova worked her way through the ranks of the Soviet and Russian police for more than two decades
The Russian parliament elected a retired police general, trained in Soviet times, as the country's human rights ombudsman on Friday, Aptil 22, prompting widespread criticism from the opposition.
The new ombudsman, Tatyana N. Moskalkova, worked her way through the ranks of the Soviet and Russian police for more than two decades, rising to become a major general of the Interior Ministry. Ms. Moskalkova retired in 2007 and won a seat in the parliament, or Duma, as a member of Just Russia, a left-leaning pro-government party.
The post of human rights ombudsman was introduced in Russia in 1993 and was first filled by Sergei A. Kovalyov, a prominent dissident who had been held in a Soviet prison camp for his political views.
Unlike most of her predecessors in the post, Ms. Moskalkova lacks experience as a human rights activist. This raised concerns not only among human rights advocates, but also from a Kremlin-friendly populist politician, Vladimir V. Zhirinovsky, who objected to her career path. Full story