Sir Julian Lewis: A few years ago, people saw no continuity between the cold war Soviet Union and present-day Russia, but what would one expect from a state run by a KGB gangster like Putin? I remind the House of the memoirs of a man called Anatoly Marchenko – “My Testimony”, published in 1969 – who died in a Soviet jail in 1986. He, like Navalny and Kara-Murza, exposed himself to indefinite imprisonment to show up the nature of the then Soviet state. Can we, at least, stop downplaying Russia as an “authoritarian” regime, and instead speak the truth and say that it remains a totalitarian state, run by a KGB gangster?
[The Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Mr Andrew Mitchell): My right hon. Friend brings to bear considerable experience of these matters. He speaks with great wisdom. What he says about Anatoly Marchenko, who died in 1986, is absolutely right. We should all pay tribute to the extraordinarily brave people in repressive regimes who stand up for human rights and justice, on behalf of themselves and their fellow citizens.]