Russian opposition leader and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov argues that the current protests in Russia differ greatly from previous mass actions. In his opinion, the Kremlin was caught off guard by the scale of the performances, and Alexey Navalny was able to channel dissatisfaction with the status quo, especially among young people.
“The events did not happen, they do happen, so we now observe the development of a script. For the first time in many years, the script writing is not in the Kremlin. It is obvious that the Kremlin yesterday was also caught off guard the scale of the performances,” he said in an interview with DELFI.
In his opinion, the current presentation was not a reaction to any actions of the authorities, as it was in 2011 and 2012. “If we take the mass protests of 2011-2012, it was a reaction, a protest of the middle class, primarily in large cities, especially in Moscow against Putin’s return and the monstrous falsification of the parliamentary elections in December 2011. There was a specific reason. The first campaign in December was brutally dispersed, and then spontaneously began speaking in other places and after large rallies on Bolotnaya, Sakharov Avenue. The highlight of the event was when the power of organized concreting and the subsequent dispersal of the Marsh, when the Putin regime has embarked on violent suppression of any protest activity. But again, all these events were caused by the actions of the authorities”.
Kasparov believes that “the uniqueness of the current events is that no new actions the authorities had not taken”. “The fact that they steal all know, nothing new Bulk in your film is not announced, but the reaction, I think, was quite unusual. In addition, it all had to do with one particular person. You can say that Russia has clearly stated the position of the Bulk, as leader of the opposition, a man able to bring people to the streets against the government without any concrete action from the government,” he says.
“Navalny has managed to channel not so much a protest, much discontent, especially among young people. What is the basis of the protesters were young people, even teenagers, who were born under Putin, indicates a qualitative change of the whole protest situation. Moreover, it is important that not only Moscow and St. Petersburg. Almost all major cities yesterday became part of a mass protest movement. We can say, from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg people came together with the idea of rejection of the current authorities,” — said Kasparov.
The opposition is Navalny
The protests that gripped dozens of cities in Russia, showed, according to the interlocutor noted that the establishment of the new political reality in which Navalny became the leader of the opposition: “the Whole protest was initiated, prepared and inspired Navalny and his team. We have a new political reality, when Bulk is not just a symbol of opposition, and its real leader. And the government must now decide how to solve this problem”.
Kasparov believes that the power in this situation chooses the hard version of the reaction. “Last night was defeated by the Fund of struggle against corruption, it was confiscated, the majority of the members of the team Navalny arrested. And I think that the government will go the way of total defeat team Bulk, believing that all evil comes from them. It just takes the situation of confrontation between the Kremlin and society in a different plane. The story ends with the pseudo-opposition parties,” he said.
According to chess and politics, it is important that in society, there is the potential for protest, so the “all the myths of unconditional support for Putin’s crumbling”, and television propaganda becomes ineffective.
“What do we see? Pillar of power is the riot police, the national guard, which uses brute force. Any other arguments does not remain, plus the propaganda on television. But here too there is an interesting point. Audience Navalny, the protest potential is unlikely to be neutralized by TV. Almost two million followers Bulk Twitter not influenced by television propaganda. This relationship is minimal. In fact, we have not just a new leader of the opposition, namely the use of technologies in the 21st century to mobilize people,” — said living abroad Russian opposition.
According to Kasparov, even if not to succumb to the “magic numbers” (100 years ago there was the October revolution), the situation is very reminiscent of that time. “In 2014, Putin’s Russia started the war is a war in Ukraine, Syria, the hybrid war with the free world. In principle, we enter into the third year of the war and it is very difficult not to draw Parallels with what it was before. In fact, dissatisfaction with the regime permeates different sectors of society. Many talked about the fact that Navalny had patrons in different structures of power. But it doesn’t matter. No matter what agreement did not exist (were they or were not), today it is already a matter of history. The fundamental question is that Navalny has dramatically changed the agenda of the intuitive politician on a large scale. He felt that the moment has come. It’s a huge risk, and for him personally. He risks everything. It is a conscious decision, associated with an unprecedented risk and it takes a confrontation to a qualitatively new level, because Navalny himself, and his entourage understand that you are dealing with a regime that is ruthless to enemies of the Reich. Especially to the “traitors”, he argued.
However, Kasparov believes that Putin will not be able to donate Dmitry Medvedev, who was the object of protests: “No idea. Everything we know about Putin is his absolute unwillingness to compromise, make concessions. He perceives any concession or compromise as weakness. Today he rents Medvedev, tomorrow will come for him.”
We will remind that on Sunday in Russia, there were mass protests in many cities of the country. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, and other cities have passed mass detention of participants of protest actions against corruption, which called to protest Alexei Navalny.