The detainee of the action on may 5 in Moscow
Our Georgian friend, who drove us this Saturday at the Tbilisi airport, was very surprised, and it seemed, I did not believe it. That the protesters at some point, even blocked the traffic on the Strastnoy Boulevard, he did not believe absolutely. "Thought you were one hundred percent for Putin, – he said and asked: – well, you will be like in Armenia?" No, we’re not.
You can compare performances in different countries, but of little use: history, tradition, and social sentiment. If Armenia every new day of the protests has brought a new record number of participants, in Russia from time to time increases the number of detainees, and yesterday was a record since 1993. Revealing the cruelty of the authorities was a response to the mass demonstrations on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration on nominally the fourth and the fifth term. Perfectly natural, but it is quite massive by today’s standards, performances and the picture of their crackdown.
Protesting the province
Recent events in Armenia made a deep impression on the opposition and authorities in Russia. Some are encouraged by the success of peaceful protest, others are wondering how you can prevent such. The Kremlin’s rejection of the violent suppression of protests in Armenia is clearly perceived as a sign of weakness and a reason for the defeat of the ruling party and the new Prime Minister. Hence, the current stiffness: the Russian government, by contrast, quite clearly shows that it is not going to abandon the policy of intimidation and suppression of those who go to street protests. Despite these efforts, the fashion for the protest movement does not pass, but rather enhanced. Not only and not so much in moderski capitals, much as assumed in the regions.
About the number of meetings always argue, but look at the statistics of arrests in the lead – Chelyabinsk and Yakutsk, the city, which could hardly be suspected of increased opposition. The proliferation of active protests in the regions is more difficult to practice the transfer of police in a major, "snickering" cities of other regions for more effective suppression of speeches and intimidation of their members. It is necessary to attract non-conventional formation like mummers Cossacks or Nodoze.
Before "aunts" not throwing to the open clashes with the protesters, limited to minor provocations. It is impossible to recall that in Ukraine, such tactics of the regime are not intimidated, but rather rallied the protesters spurred by their radicalization. It is now happening in Russia: first, the opposition, albeit briefly, blocked in Moscow one of the Central streets – Strastnoy Boulevard, and St. Petersburg. Petersburg even built small barricades.
Spirit Digital resistance
Another novelty in this protest of the season is the Armenian flags in the hands of some protesters. The protests on may 5 and gave birth to another symbol of another of Vladimir Putin’s presidency: the boy, who was being dragged, his hands wrung huge police. A powerful subtext for the new term of Putin: it turns out that one of the most influential people in the world, people, pulling geopolitical leverage, along with other judging the fate of the world.
Protesters inspires not only Armenia, their moods could not fail to affect the success of the Internet. Suddenly, agreed by the authorities and conducted in Moscow was impressively numerous and very encouraging. Ponomaryov, and Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky, and even Udaltsov, who was the leader of the United States, . Not too well known before the masses libertarians, who organized this mass action, declared himself as a noteworthy political force.
Appeared last week slogan "Could the Armenians, then so can we" now it seems, perhaps, too optimistic for the Russian opposition. But it breaks the popular notion that street protests in Russia – not more than gradually fading aftershocks of mass protests of 2011-12. The memory of those events is still fresh. But it is no longer works. It is not afraid to go to the protest, and even when the court is almost full. Does this mean that it’s time for new prosecutions, we will know after the inauguration. But what we do know: as in Armenia, Russia is clearly not.
Author: Alexander plushev, a journalist, Internet expert, popular blogger and radio host. The author of the weekly column on DW. Website Alexandra ivy: plushev.com, Twitter: @plushev
This comment expresses the personal opinion of the author. It may not coincide with the opinion of the Russian edition and Deutsche Welle in General.
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