Zprávy Seznam (Czech Republic): Putin got a small slap from a distance

Someday it had to happen. The Kremlin got a slap. In the air flashed a small slap from a distance. Not very painful but annoying. Against Moscow city stood at the opposite end of the Russian Federation. That’s a shame that Russian propaganda, as in other cases, can not say that this is a Western conspiracy or anti-system opposition under the leadership of Alexey Navalny. Their rights at demonstrations defending ordinary Russians that just something fed up.

In the Khabarovsk region appointed a new acting Governor. Vladimir Putin has chosen his Deputy from the liberal democratic party of Russia Mikhail Degtyarev. A few weeks ago this news would not have caused the slightest attention from any Russian who does not reside in a given region with the seven hour time difference with Moscow. Putin appoints regional leaders, Putin also removes them. Cycle in the Russian political system. Elections — only view.

But in the Khabarovsk region has something special that the Kremlin was puzzled. Two years ago at the local gubernatorial election by chance whitewashed Sergey Furgal, the candidate of the liberal democratic party of Russia eccentric populist Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Furgal was included in the list of candidates purely as decoration to give the elections a patina of legality. On the same principle, by the way, at the Federal level, all operating quasipositive Zhirinovsky’s party.

But effortlessly Furgal bypassed the then-Governor and candidate of the ruling party “United Russia” Vyacheslav Shport, which the people were fed up. It turned out that the liberal democratic party, she is not particularly wanting to, suddenly gained power in the region. People Zhirinovsky won a majority in the provincial Parliament and in the mayoralty of Khabarovsk. In addition, the local representative of the liberal democratic party received a Deputy seat in the State Duma. For the first time in Russian history the Kremlin’s ruling party lost control over the region.

Very soon the Kremlin punished Khabarovsk Krai for the trick. In revenge for the failure in the elections, Moscow has transferred the management bodies of the Far East from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok. And in early July of this year at the hands of the Governor Furgala police wearing handcuffs.

The consequence suspects him of murder of local entrepreneurs in 2004 and 2005. Furgal is allegedly linked to local mafia, who was doing his dirty work. Typical absurd story of the Russian reality. Career Russian policy not destroy communications in criminal circles, and the fact that he accidentally won the election, the local henchman of the Kremlin.

Another paradox. In support of the arrested Governor in Khabarovsk has begun a mass of uncoordinated demonstrations. The police did not intervene. The protests were culminicola this weekend, when the streets there were some tens thousand inhabitants of Khabarovsk. Something incredible.

Center mass protests until now has always been Moscow. For Russian regions, such actions are something entirely unprecedented. As a rule, the protests in Russia lead to nothing, unless you consider the opposite effect — tightening the screws. But in Khabarovsk protesters have achieved the maximum possible, and the Kremlin did not impose Governor of a compromised party, and sent to the far East colleague Furgala at the party.

The Kremlin got from Khabarovsk unpleasant slap. It turned out that in Russia still there is seemingly eradicated by Putin, the phenomenon of regional identity. Although Moscow radically limits fair and unfair meddling in local Affairs, people are not willing to put up with it.

It happened not only in Khabarovsk, but also, say, in the Nenets Autonomous district. The region North of the Arctic circle, the only one of all 85 Russian regions, voted against the adoption of the amendments to the Constitution, which gives the opportunity for Vladimir Putin to remain in office until 2036. Why? In protest against the merger of the district with neighboring Arkhangelsk oblast. Here, too, the role played by regional identity.

In connection with the decline in popularity of Vladimir Putin, who only through a dubious amendment to the Constitution, retained for themselves the ability to rule the country for another 16 years, the Kremlin has to solve the problem of windfall grievances. But not in the traditionally opposition-minded Moscow or Saint Petersburg, and in regions which had long been in a political coma.

Protests in Khabarovsk, most likely, will not give impetus to regional unrest and resistance Moscow and especially Putin’s regime. So far, Russia has not yet gone, despite the economic and social problems faced by the population of the regions distant from the capital. According to the latest figures, almost 45% of Russians live on a salary less than 15 thousand rubles. During coronavirus epidemic proportion of people with such low income increased by seven percent.

However, one caveat to the Kremlin, and the anti-systemic opposition Alexei Navalny here is undeniable. When the time comes and the patience of the Russians burst, the election can defeat any system of second-class populist without political ambitions.

Thus, to win the Kremlin regime may simple the tired Russians, who will tell the authorities: “Enough.” Without a revolution, through the elections. Even those that happen falsification, as is customary in Russia.

In four years Russia will have presidential elections. For Vladimir Putin, they can be completed as an unpleasant surprise.