Sexual harassment? Not an issue for the Duma

The Russian parliament's ethics committee has examined accusations of sexual harassment brought by three women journalists against Duma member Leonid Slutsky. The committee concluded that there wasn't any evidence to support the claims. Outraged that Slutsky is going unpunished, several media outlets, including the Echo of Moscow, have withdrawn their correspondents from the Duma.

Open/close all quotes
Echo of Moscow (RU) /

The same lack of rules as in a bordello

Commentator Anton Orech vents his frustration in Echo of Moscow:

“Back then this Commission was unable to recognise [Duma member] Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky when he verbally attacked George Bush in a drunken tirade in Baghdad. The members of the ethics committee were the only ones in Russia who couldn't identify him. So Slutsky can also rest assured. There was no 'violation of the code of conduct', quite simply because the Duma has no such code. That's why they became members in the first place: to be able to behave like they were in a bordello while being treated like respectable people. You may not touch the wife or daughter of a member of the Duma. But the member can paw your wife, daughter or girlfriend wherever and whenever he pleases. He commits no offence, but you must pay a fine for libel.”

Kommersant (RU) /

Parliament couldn't care less about justice

Kommersant newspaper has cancelled its cooperation with Slutsky and the ethics committee and published a statement explaining why:

“The editors of the Kommersant publishing house are surprised and dismayed by the decision of the ethics committee, which has effectively refused to investigate the allegations against Leonid Slutsky and turned the meeting into a trial against the victims. We regard the approach of the committee members, for whom the esprit de corps seems to be more important than justice, as destructive. We hope that this affair will not end here. But for our part we are ending our cooperation with member of the Duma Slutsky as a newsmaker and also with the ethics committee because we represent entirely different ethical views.”