Curve of the Russian protests. What’s next

Due to the worsening economic situation, very long crisis and a sense of futility, growing social tension and dissatisfaction. Most often it topples the corrupt government, because this is one of the burning issues of the people. Not so much in a moral sense, but in economic, as a significant part of Russians considers that reducing their income to blame for the corrupt government.

This is the most simple and populist way of explanation. But this is partly supported by the propaganda and actions of the authorities leading the simulation campaign for the fight against corruption. In fact, the government removes too independent officials from the higher layer. Campaigns of this kind are held constant: for the year of at least 800 reports of arrests or excitations of cases against high-ranking officials. This creates a chronic background that the government is totally corrupt and people are convinced.

So the criticism of the Bulk relies on a well established installation population. The part of the Russians, really dissatisfied with the current regime — not too big, but quite visible — is 15 to 25% in different aspects. They advocate a change of government.

The protest was very visible in 2011-2012, but since it was more of a moral action had no political success, after crackdown the protests went down. The protests went down not only because of state repression, but after the state-Patriotic mobilization related to the war in Donbas and annexation of Crimea. It was this consolidation phase around power and confrontation against the West.

Therefore, the mood of protest in the years 2014-2016 was at the lowest level for all time of our observations. Now they begin to grow, and it is quite obvious. But they are very unevenly distributed. Most protests occur in major cities and in the two capitals.

Video Bulk about the Prime Minister looked about 25-30 million people. Overall it made a very strong impression, because this is the second person in the state, which once was linked to hopes for democratic reform. Bulk very effectively and skillfully used social media to mobilize and organize this protest. He was joined not only by those who are not happy with the problems of corruption, but also deceived investors, the deceived investors. Word, pulled up a totally different group of malcontents and discriminated Russians.

On the scale of yesterday’s protests is very difficult to judge because it was not compact action — protesters were dissolved in the total mass of celebrants.

But an interesting point yesterday’s action was a marked predominance of young people. Because action was banned, the older people much less than usual. Young participants, especially the students, is very noticeable. His tough stance of repression, the government contributes to the politicization of young Russians.

It is worth noting that the current government is quite strong concerns about the growth of protest moods. The government is afraid, because mass protests are the only factor that can break the system. And since this movement is not selfish and Mercantile, government does not know what to do with it. The only reaction is the blunt use of force. What is even more whet the youth.

It is difficult to predict how the situation will develop ahead of the presidential elections in 2018. While the government shies away from one extreme to the other extreme and don’t know how to behave.