MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti, Alexey Eremenko)
- Russian Police Disperse Anti-Putin Protest
- Putin Supporters Rally Ahead of Inauguration
- Rights Council to Participate in ‘March of Millions’
- Opposition to Hold Flashmob on Inauguration Day
A mass rally and rioting in Moscow on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s presidential inauguration showed the sustainability of anti-Putin protests, which are radicalizing because the government failed to reason with the opposition, pundits said on Sunday.
“It’s a very uncomfortable situation for Putin,” said Yevgeny Minchenko, head of the International Institute for Political Expertise. “He wanted things to be quiet, but people are charged for protest.”
Between 50,000 and 100,000, by various independent estimates, showed up on Sunday for an anti-government rally on the downtown Bolotnaya Square, which was to demand repeat presidential and parliamentary elections due to alleged vote fraud. Moscow police said the turnout stood at 8,000.
But unlike similar rallies in Moscow over the past six months, the protest quickly turned violent, with scores of radicals in the crowd clashing with police in an attempt to march to the Kremlin. More than 400 were detained, and several protesters and policemen were injured.
Many spectators predicted the protest drive, which resulted in five mass rallies in Moscow between December and March, will be dying down after the presidential vote on March 4, won by Putin, but the Sunday rally showed it is not the case, said independent political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky.
“The society has potential for protest. The drive for change did not vanish, and many people still push for Russia to become a normal European country,” Belkovsky said.
Protests has united a variety of political and ideological groups, all of whom accuse Putin’s government of ineffectiveness, corruption and curtailing civil liberties. Putin and his supporters responded by labeling protesters West’s henchmen seeking to undermine Russian sovereignty.
The opposition is radicalizing because Putin’s government failed to enter a full-scale dialogue with it after the first rallies in December, said Alexei Makarkin of the Center of Political Technologies think-tank.
The government announced a reform to liberalize political legislation after the first protests, but began a gradual rollback of most promises since December, miring the reforms in red tape that analysts said were aimed to cripple it, retaining the Kremlin’s tight control over the country’s political life.
Pundits differed on prospects of radicalization for the opposition movement. Makarkin said it was a dead-end because it was alienating moderate protesters while Belkovsky said it was the only way of keeping the protest drive mobilized after the peaceful protests failed to impress the government.
In any case, the clashes were an unpleasant surprise for Putin, both because his return to the Kremlin after two presidencies in 2000-2008 will be marked in the eyes of observers worldwide by a violent crackdown on opposition and because he is brought to realize the protest drive is as vibrant as ever, analysts said.
Dialogue remains the best solution for the political crisis, but Putin passed over the chance for it in December and is very unlikely to begin talks now, after a display of power by his opponents, Makarkin said.
“The authorities don’t know how to do dialogue and don’t like it,” he said.
Putin is likely to begin tightening screws now, for example, by banning rallies in downtown Moscow, Makarkin said. “The opposition was speaking on Sunday about the last hours of freedom,” he said.
But that would not work in the long run because the public has already received a taste of street protest and is not afraid of continuing it, Belkovsky said.
“One violent rally won’t do much,” agreed Minchenko of the International Institute for Political Expertise. “But if it will go on, and it probably will, even as unsanctioned rally, it would eventually endanger the authorities and their hold on power.”
However, he and the other analysts refused to elaborate on possible scenarios of regime change in the country.
“The situation’s in a deadlock,” Makarkin said.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
- free_mind50(no title)02:12, 07/05/2012This article is a load of crock.
The President elect and the outgoing President offered to sit down (like civilized human beings)and discuss a solution with the opposition and they refused.
Now they turn radical?
that is of their own accord.
to bring bloodshed their countrymen and endless protest?
Exactly what the opposition is, endless protest and no common solution, by people who think overly high of themselves, while Russia suffers these insults, taunts and psyops.
Well most of the Russian Federation is not fooled. The president elect will continue to work towards a common goals beneficial to all the Russian Federation, while these opposition only offer protest upon protest, while wasting time that could be well spent improving Russian society.
I do youthink the people will vote for in the end?
- arsanlupinExcuse me -04:37, 07/05/2012It’s either “a crock of” something or “a load of” something – usually manure – but never “a load of crock”. If you don’t know how to use a slang expression correctly, please avoid using it altogether.
The article seems to say exactly the opposite of what you purport. It said that promises were made by the current administration to the opposition, but then they were reneged upon. Not surprising when you consider the contempt the president-elect holds for anyone who doesn’t agree with him. It said that they were demanding new elections to replace what most Russians feel were severely fraudulent parliamentary and presidential elections. One would think that, if the elections were considered fraudulent by protestors, the legitimacy of said elected officials would be equally questionable. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the protesters or not – it just makes sense that they would be reluctant to talk to someone they consider the winners of an election in which they cheated at winning. Having promises publicly made – and publicly broken – wouldn’t help matters. One Russian political analyst stated: “This was a rally of angry citizens.”
”Protests have united a variety of political and ideological groups, all of whom accuse Putin’s government of ineffectiveness, corruption and curtailing civil liberties. Putin and his supporters responded by labeling protesters West’s henchmen seeking to undermine Russian sovereignty. The opposition is radicalizing because Putin’s government failed to enter a full-scale dialogue with it after the first rallies in December.”
They protest what they view as bad government, and Putin accuses them of working with foreign governments (unfriendly is implied). In other words, anyone who disagrees with how he wants to run Russia is automatically a traitor. Is there any wonder why so many citizens are so angry?
These and other articles show your post for the series of lies that it is.
1. The offer to negotiate was a fraud – the promises of reform were reneged upon.
2. They do indeed have a common solution: new elections totally free of the massive fraud witnessed and documented by thousands of observers.
3. Russia is suffering any insults, taunts, and “psy-ops”, but their own government is inflicting it upon them.
4. The president-elect will continue to work towards the goal of consolidating his own power and lining his own pocket.
Something else puzzles me: why would you post this inflammatory comment of yours onto the English-language version of this article? Are you only trying to voice your opinion? If so, why not post your comment on the Russian-language page instead? Perhaps you aren’t Russian at all – merely some troll who delights in making provocative statements to annoy other people.
- gunshipdemocracyindependent sources = CIA sponsored03:06, 07/05/2012Navalny and co are just traitors using idiots to protest.
What is treason penalty in the USA? same shall be for Navalny in Russia.
- bielecTrators and foreign agents06:04, 07/05/2012Read this:
- pushkinlovPoor assessment06:11, 07/05/2012I do not know where the writer of this article lives, within Russia? in Berezovsky residence? Perhaps he is Konstantin roomate? The article fails to mention all the efforts the legitimate elected president (remember Putin got more than 50% of the votes)asked the opposition to put out the ideas, issues, programs, or any idea to further the betterment of the Russian Federation. The so called opposition (leaders) maintain their anti-Putin slogans... The Russian population feels safe and hopeful of Putin's incoming new administration, and that is the reason the majority of Russians voted for him, whether your selected "pundits" like it or not. The people is with Putin... get it.
- bielec@ arsanlupin "Excuse me" -10:48, 07/05/2012What you are writing fits the pattern of arguments used in all similar "revolutions" in recent years. We know where they come from, who provides the funds, and what the goal is. It's not democracy, it's a destabilization leading to a regime change. We've seen this over and over and we understand how this works. It's a no-brainer.
The Western crooks must be really afraid of Putin and a strong, nationalistic and determined Russia. Such a Russia does not serve their globalization agenda - (read: global neo-colonialism). A country that is united is always strong. To weaken Russia, they try to implement the "divide and conquer" strategy. We can see this, too.
You are also misrepresenting the facts in such a way as to make people in Russia angry. You are the "divider". Putin did win the election and he does not have to negotiate his position with the minority opposition groups. The alleged fraud has never been proven because it did not happen.
G.W. Bush did not negotiate with the opposition in his questionnable and fraudalent 2001 "victory". Where were you, then? I didn't see your comments in any American media, at that time.
And who are you to lecture people where to write their comments and how to use English idioms? I would like to see you write in Russian. You don't sound like one. Let me guess... The U.S. State Department? The U.S. Embassy? Some neocon smart*ss hiding in a Zionist think tank? An influence agent working for Soros' money? Or, all of the above?
- arsanlupinFacts are facts - deal with it!20:21, 07/05/2012I wrote about the article above, and other related articles listed on this page also published bi RIA Novosti. Are any of you actually reading them? I voiced concerns apparently shared by a large number of people - both in Russia and looking in from elsewhere.
I mentioned your misuse of an American slang phrase because I am apparently more knowledgeable of the expression than you are. Or are you now declaring yourself an expert in American slang as well as the inner workings of international politics and conspiracy theories? I’m just an ordinary person in a ordinary job, who never worked for any governmental agency or in politics of any kind.
A lot of Russians think the elections were rigged. A lot of Russians caught elections officials ballot stuffing, recorded them doing it, and posted the videos on the internet. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong – but the evidence supplied is pretty damning, and would certainly hold up in any court of law. But then again even former president Medvedev has stated his efforts to introduce the concept of ‘the rule of law’ into Russia made very little real progress.
For your information, in 2000 G.W. Bush followed the election laws in place in Florida at the time, and waited for the recount to be completed. He very nearly lost the election – the condition of some of the ballots was in doubt. But the decision was made in accordance with the law, and he was in communication with his opponent throughout. No one doubts that – except of course by a handful of conspiracy theorists.
I noticed that the Russian-language version of this article has no comments posted, and I am curious. I asked a question, regarding another commenter's choice of comment-posting location and language. There are many many comments posted by purported ultra-nationalists and Stalinists – all on the English language edition of a Russian news website. But I never see any of you posting on the Russian language page. Do you find questions so threatening? It's a perfectly reasonable question. Surely you can answer it with a more enlightening response than the same tired accusations you throw at everyone and everything that disagrees with YOU - that they are either traitors or spies. Are you really so terribly afraid that you might possibly be wrong? Why are you so afraid of the truth – wherever it might be?
Perhaps some Russians’ habit of blaming all their problems (real or imagined) on someone else is nothing more than metaphorically sticking their head in the sand, so they don’t need to face the facts that they have some real problems. That way they don’t have to find real solutions – because they refuse to accept responsibility for their own lives. If they instead faced the real problems and worked at solving them, only then would their lives really improve.
Image Galleries: Hungry Hippos, Tiny Tamarins and Other Animal News
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
Russia has surged ahead on the foreign policy stage, but this is not enough to remain a great power. The tough-minded policies and masterful diplomacy of Russia’s leadership have maximized the country’s position in the world, and are now the main source of its international influence and prestige. Russia’s foreign policy in the next decade depends entirely on what happens at home.