I came across the Magnitsky act, according to which:

The Magnitsky Act, formally known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama in November–December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009. Since 2016 the bill is applied on a global scale by the US government.

Why is US government taking any steps to punish the Russian officials involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky (who is a Russian accountant)?

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    This platform is completely biased towards any questions which raises even the slightest questions which opposes the geopolitical views of U.S. and leads to down vote by U.S. nationals and citizens @Phillip
    – user17709
    Mar 24, 2018 at 18:49
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    @why But why Magnitsky act ? US has nothing to do with Russia's internal politics , What was done with Magnitsky was done under the law of Russian Justice system and then you will say that it's justice system is rigged , but so is KSA's justice system.
    – user17709
    Mar 24, 2018 at 19:15
  • The answer can be found in already posted comments. KSA is a major US ally while Russia is a strategic threat. Any such accusation by the USA is just to maintain pressure on Russia.
    – user17569
    Mar 24, 2018 at 19:30
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    @why does such kind of pressure even works on Putin and Russia ? It doesn't seems that way - even with all the sanctions in the planet , Russia is doing just fine with over 350 billion $ in forex , they even hosted a winter Olympics splurging over 40 billion $ - by look of it , it doesn't seems to even make a dent
    – user17709
    Mar 24, 2018 at 19:35
  • That is a different issue. Russia has gas and oil. Most of its revenue comes from oil and gas export. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_industry_in_Russia
    – user17569
    Mar 24, 2018 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Your question implies the Magnitsky Act is unusual. It is not. Something similar that comes to mind is the bans during the 70' and 80's on South African Kruggerand because of Aparthied. There are many many examples where countries have taken such actions based on what could be called the "internal affairs" of other countries.

These actions seem to follow what you might call a "responsible citizen" philosophy. Suppose you are walking down the street and witness a person inflicting a severe beating on another person, who appears unable to defend himself. What, morally speaking, should you do? Where does your moral responsibility end? If the beating ends in murder, are you not complicit by your failure to intervene?

Of course, not all such actions are purely altruistic. They also serve ulterior political motives. That's the way it always ever been.

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