Voices from Russia

Saturday, 10 March 2012

10 March 2012. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Number of Participants in the ‘For Fair Elections’ Rally on Novy Arbat in Moscow

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The second rally protesting the result in the recent presidential election took place on Saturday 10 March 2012, on the Novy Arbat in Moscow. According to figures from the Moscow GU MVD, at its peak, at 14.00 MSK (10.00 UTC 05.00 EST 02.00 PST), the rally gathered together some 10,000 people, of whom 8,000 were directly on-site, and about 2,000 more were scattered throughout the territory secured by the OMON. Organisers said that the police underestimated the number of participants in the rally. Right-wing Neoliberal politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said that at least 25,000 people gathered on the Novy Arbat for the protest action.

10 March 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/infografika/20120310/591210662.html

Editor’s Note:

As one can see from the image, the cops, not the organisers, were right. The main Moscow City KPRF sat this one out, as they didn’t want to be used by the American Embassy or by the Prokhorov slimers. Without the commies, the protest action “went south” very quickly. Putin‘s “left turn” paid off for him. Now, he knows that the opposition is down to the “hard-heads”. Can you believe that Ryzhkov’s such a clueless pro-American lapdog that he screams about non-existent “political prisoners?” Truly… can you see why most people write him off as a pro-American pro-oligarch nutter?

BMD

10 March 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. The Guy in the Jacket Over There… He’s in Your Office

The Guy in the Jacket Over There… He’s in Your Office

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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The Moscow GU MVD announced that cops arrested about 250 people for an unauthorised rally in the centre of the city. Police released all of the detained demonstrators, including opposition leaders Ilya Yashin, Aleksei Navalny, and Sergei Udaltsov, after they prepared the proper paperwork and administrative reports.

6 March 2012

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20120306/585896746.html

Putin Opponents Rally “For Fair Elections”

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On Saturday, thousands of people critical of Prime Minister Putin rallied peacefully in central Moscow, asserting that Putin’s recent victory in the presidential election wasn’t fair and demanding reform. Police said that around 10,000 people turned out… organisers put the number at 25,000… for the authorised protest along a central Moscow avenue and participants vowed to press ahead in the future with their demonstrations whether they received permission or not. The size of the crowd however was far smaller than the mass opposition demonstrations that shook Russia earlier this winter, the mood of participants was more subdued, and key protest leaders like blogger Aleksei Navalny stood quietly in the crowd and didn’t address the rally. Anton Yezhov, a middle-aged lawyer who works in a law office near the protest site, said, “I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the protest movement. I don’t rule out that Russia will return to totalitarianism, but it’s my civic duty to come out and show that I don’t agree with the way the elections were stolen”.

Putin, 59, won the 4 March presidential election with 63.6 percent of the vote, according to the Central Election Commission, ensuring his return to the Kremlin after a four-year hiatus during which he’s been prime minister. Putin’s opponents and some international observers said the vote was biased in Putin’s favour and claim his support was probably much lower. Putin himself acknowledged violations, but said these were not of sufficient magnitude to have altered the official results significantly. However, no one disputed that Putin won the majority of votes, and, on Friday, US President Barack Obama telephoned Putin and formally congratulated him on his election victory, officials in Washington and Moscow said. Russian opposition activists however shrugged off the US recognition of Putin’s return to the Kremlin, insisting that Washington’s stance in no way altered their position that Russia’s in serious need of political reform.

Liberal {that’s to say “conservative” in Anglosphere terms: editor} opposition activist Vladimir Ryzhkov, one of the speakers at Saturday’s rally, told RIA-Novosti that Obama’s congratulation of Putin “meant nothing. The main thing for us is that people are coming out onto the streets to show their opposition to Putin and we know that the only people who can change anything in our country are we ourselves. We don’t need Obama”. Although the crowd at the demonstration was calm, police presence in the area (and elsewhere in the Russian capital) was pervasive, and a police helicopter hovered over the rally. Some demonstrators said that they felt the event was a “let-down”. Yuri Rostovsky, a pensioner from Moscow, said, “I’m disappointed by the low turnout. Nothing will change in Russia for the better until we get at least half a million people on the street”.

However, opposition leaders said that the turnout at the demonstration pleased them, as it happened during a long holiday weekend, when many Muscovites were out of town, and vowed to hold more gatherings ahead of Putin’s 7 May inauguration. Speaking from a stage erected alongside the avenue of the rally site, leftist opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov told the crowd, “We need to get a million people to turn out on the streets before the inauguration”. He then led the crowd in chanting “We Are the Power! We Are the Power!” Udaltsov admitted the turnout at Saturday’s protest was much lower than at previous opposition rallies. He said this was because “the entire Kremlin propaganda machine has been working full-time to convince people that what we saw were elections”. The participants at Saturday’s rally were a mix of Neoliberal opposition activists, nationalists, communists, and pensioners, united only by their anger at Russia’s current political reality. One protestor dressed as RoboCop, the Hollywood science-fiction movie figure, and carried a sign reading, “RoboCop against the RoboCops.”

Ryzhkov also said the opposition would continue to press its demands, saying, “We’ll continue to demand freedom of speech, snap parliamentary elections, and a new presidential vote with the introduction of new rules. We also demand the end of censorship of the media and the release of political prisoners”. Other speakers at the rally included chess player-turned-opposition activist Garry Kasparov, TV presenter socialite Ksenia Sobchak, as well as several vote monitors.

A series of mass rallies have occurred in Moscow since December, when Putin’s United Russia Party won in parliamentary elections marred by allegations of electoral fraud across the country. Five massive opposition events between December and March each attracted tens of thousands of demonstrators. Putin’s supporters have also held rallies attracting tens of thousands of people, most recently in a huge Moscow sports stadium a week ahead of the presidential election.

Earlier this month, the cops arrested around 250 people on Pushkinskaya Square after an anti-Putin protest when they failed to obey police orders to disperse after the allotted time for the demonstration had expired. On Saturday, Udaltsov attempted to lead some 60 activists in an unsanctioned march on the Kremlin from the Novy Arbat, but police stopped them, briefly detaining Udaltsov and two others. Moscow police also reported detaining 25 nationalists who attempted to stage an unspecified “provocation” by the central Kievsky Railway Terminal, around a kilometre (@2/3 mile) from Novy Arbat. Meanwhile, on Saturday, in St Petersburg, where City Hall refused to authorise an opposition rally downtown, about 60 activists attempted to march in the city’s centre, but police dispersed and arrested them. Protests also took place in several major cities in Siberia, but only attracted dozens in each case. In Nizhny Novgorod, some 150 attended an unsanctioned rally; the cops nicked 85 of them.

10 March 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120310/172077156.html

Editor’s Note:

There’s an interesting wrinkle in the late Russian presidential election that really illuminates the situation, but the Western press isn’t telling you the whole story (as per usual). Most Western reporters and “experts” (such as Sophia Kishkovsky, Anya Schmemann, and Katrina vanden Heuvel) are incredibly shallow and lazy. Ergo, they spend most of their time with zapadnik Neoliberals in the two capitals (these phonies also go gaga over Aleksandr Men, Pavel Florensky, Georgi Kochetkov, and the Blunder).

However, there was an interesting factoid about how such creepozoids voted. Such people gave most of their votes to the pro-American running-dog Prokhorov… so much so that he had three times his “average” in both the Centre and Piter, giving him 25 percent of the vote at the Centre and 30 percent in Piter. The two capitals are 11.5 percent of the Russian population; this gave Prokhorov 3.0 percent of the national vote just like that. Prokhorov’s national average was 7.9 percent, which means that his percentage of the vote outside of the capitals was 5.5 percent. This means that his percentage of the vote was 300 percent above average in the capitals, and only 70 percent of the average outside of the capitals (or 30 percent below average, to put it another way). Prokhorov can’t mine any more support in the capitals, and the hinterlands have never been a zapadniki stronghold. They’ve always been strongest in Piter, with a lot in the Centre (due to its role as capital), with scatterings in the provinces.

Furthermore, the vote for Prokhorov was a “protest” vote, and such gestures have a very short “shelf life”. It’s much like the 2010 Tea Party bubble… it’s blowing over, and if events move on their present course until November, it looks like a landslide for Obama. That’s why most of what you’re reading in the Western press is utter bullshit… they’re printing what their corporate bosses tell them to. The Russian election wasn’t as corrupt as many American elections are… it was “cleaner” than elections in Florida, Texas, Cook County, and Arkansas are… if you doubt me, reflect on the fact that James Carville was a trusted employee of the Clintons (I rest my case). Trust me, if you want to find “stuffed” ballot boxes, go to Little Rock or Dallas… not Moscow or Petersburg…

BMD

Monday, 5 March 2012

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Warned the Opposition Not to React Violently

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On Monday, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department for Church and Society, urged the opposition to express its position peacefully and within the law, saying, “When people peacefully express their opinion, even critically, it isn’t illegal or sinful at all. Sin and lawlessness begins when people allow themselves to lie, throwing around unsubstantiated accusations, insulting people on national, social, political, or other grounds”. In his view, such acts violate both God’s law and human law, and he said, “It’s very sinful, disorderly, and criminal to advocate rebellion, revolution, violation of the laws, or the illegitimate use of force. This would be particularly immoral at a time when the people’s choice is clear. Anyone who makes such calls, of course, will bear personal responsibility not only to the people and to history, but before God, as well. He went on to say its one thing to hear such notions from the mouths of “poorly educated teenagers”; it’s quite another thing when “well-educated people who’re well aware of what their actions mean express them. You can’t chalk up their words to naïveté and inexperience; therefore, for them, you must fully apply the word of the Lord JesusFrom everyone to whom much is given, much will be required”.

As reported, on Monday, the opposition will hold a government-approved rally from 19.30 to 21.00 MSK on Pushkinskaya Square. The organisers claim that up to 10,000 people will participate in the demonstration. Opposition activists, journalists, and bloggers formed a joint-action group entitled За честные выборы (Za chestnye vybory: For Fair Elections) on 18 January 2012 and united their efforts in a Лигу избирателей (Ligu izbiratelei: Voter’s League). Sergei Udaltsov, the leader of the Левый фронт (Levy Front: Left Front), wrote in his microblog on Twitter that the For Fair Elections Organising Committee decided not to recognise the legitimacy of the election, and that they would announce that at the rally. Later, he told Interfax that the protesters would demand an early call for new parliamentary and presidential elections and “strengthen our protest activity to achieve these goals”.

5 March 2012

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=44461

Editor’s Note:

There were noises from the usual quarters about the Russian election. I’d advise Hill to keep her big mouth shut. Arkansas politics aren’t exactly known for probity, and Bill wasn’t exactly a straight-dealer. In short, there was (and still is) more than one stuffed ballot box in Little Rock, and there’s no peep about that. The late Russian election had no more (or no less) fraud than the usual election in the West. If anything, VVP was far “cleaner” than George W Bush was, now, he stole the US presidency with a sleazy court decision. Now, that’s something to bitch about…

BMD

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