The President of Russia not many ways to “reassure” the public, to suppress protest and to keep the power in their hands.
Regular protests in Moscow and other cities of Russia show that the country is entering into a protracted political crisis. Again becomes relevant slogan made another of Viktor Tsoi “We want change!” I remember in the late 1980s, this song just blew sultry air stagnation.
Will there be the same this time?
It is still unknown.
However, it seriously begins to discuss the question: will Vladimir Putin to retain power until the presidential elections in 2024?
To this question to answer should start at least roughly assess the current potential for protest. In a purely descriptive coordinates it is as follows: in Russia today are dissatisfied with almost everything. Liberals unhappy with the lack of civil liberties, patriots — the fact that the government does not give a real rebuff to the enemies foreign and domestic, the regional elite — the dependence on the center retirees (as, indeed, and just Mature people) — pension reform, young people, a lack of prospects, entrepreneurs — continuous pressure on the business. Well, the vast majority of Russians, of course, dissatisfied with the corruption, indifference and arrogance of officials, a severe decline in living standards.
Therefore, there is every reason to believe that the scale of the protests will grow. May not be linear with UPS and departures, but the popular indignation here and there will be all the harder to break out.
Now let’s see if this protest to repay. What provisions have with the Russian authorities to keep their positions?
Of course, it would be best to hold the country’s economic modernization and political liberalization, which, in fact, is demanded by protesters. The question thus would be off the agenda cleared. But since, according to the Russian ruling elite and modernization, and liberalization is specially fictional world conspiracy to destroy our country, the government probably will use a different set of tools.
However, her choice is not too large.
First of all, she may try to discredit and intimidate the protesters. Actually, this process is very intensive. To sum up the meaning of many articles, television reports and political shows in the Pro-government media, one gets a clear impression that the protesters are people either deceived, or bought for American dollars or openly hating their country; aggressively marginal, acceptable to the provocation, throw in the guards bottles and pieces of asphalt, ready and look to arrange a Grand pogrom. It is clear that the Russian police, the most humane police force in the world, just have to transmit them in paddy wagons, and Russian justice, famous for his justice, is simply obliged to open proceedings against those who, preventing the Russians to live happily and flagrantly and defiantly violate the law.
It is unlikely that these measures will be effective. The official propaganda about the “bought and deceived,” there are few who believe. Even ideological polls show that the protests against fraud authority supports the election almost a third of respondents, while almost half of the respondents did not approve of the “decisive actions of the security forces” to disperse rallies.
As for intimidation, as I wrote earlier, the protest environment, probably, have already formed a spontaneous self-replicating “core”, based on a horizontal network communications. The retirement of his “visionary leaders” does not lead immediately there is a new group of community moderators and the protest continues. Moreover, among young people is spreading the idea that being detained at the rally — it’s fun. Simply put, the protesters are no longer afraid of the police and viewed their arrest as a sign of social and political prestige.
But on a continuous repression under which you will be tried and sent to the conclusion of thousands of people, the current Russian government is unlikely to be resolved. In this case, the country and the current President will be finally discredited, not only in the eyes of the world, but — more importantly — in the eyes of most Russians.
Of course, the ruling elite could try to form action “anti-core”. On the “civil protest” answer “people’s protest”, which its mass can affect the public consciousness.
But this idea, in my opinion, is also unlikely to be realized. A pair of “bus rallies” in support of the President of Russia now does not particularly impress, but for the present, large-scale and efficient antiprotest the Russian authorities simply do not have organizational structures. Attempt during the Ukrainian events, to create the constantly functioning “Antimaydan” failed completely. About this bizarre organization is now trying not to remember. On the other hand, the authority of the “United Russia” goes to zero, what is a “popular front”, no one really understands. Where to get the necessary power?
However, the President has long been flirting with the movement of bikers, which would become such an active “anti-core”, — maintains contacts, recently made a trip with them to the Crimea.
However, here we can recall the fate of another organization of similar profile. A hundred years ago was created the “Union of Russian people”, which is patronized personally by the Emperor Nicholas II. True monarchists, nationalists and Orthodox, the support of the throne, the number — 300 to 400 thousand people. It seemed that they stand steadfast against the wall of troublemakers and rebels. What? Cost to break out of the February revolution, as all those hundreds of thousand men vanished without a trace.
It should also be borne in mind that one thing — politicized leaders of bikers who communicate with the President and another rank and file members of the movement whose sentiments widely differ from the official.
And finally, there is a third strategy that the Russian authorities can be a main curb of the protests, the patient waiting, the hope that the spirit of opposition will be exhausted and will subside by themselves.
I must say that such an outcome is quite likely. Once out on the rally of 50 thousand people — and nothing else. The second time went 50 thousand — again nothing. So what’s the point rally, if nothing changes?
Besides the President, to cool down public anger, is the way in which the authoritarian government in history has resorted more than once: to dismiss the current government, thereby shifting the blame for the situation in the country, and to announce the creation of a new Cabinet — “young technocrats”, koi and perform at the direction of the President, “innovation breakthrough”.
Of course, no breakthrough will be — do not pour new wine into old wineskins. However, the government will be able to break, since any new government automatically gets the citizens a certain credibility. It will take time until this credit is exhausted. Anyway — what’s the point to continue the protest, if like won?
In the old days was the sailors such a way to calm the raging ocean — at a critical time to pour over the side a few barrels of oil or whale oil. Waves are smoothed out, the ship had a chance to slip a dangerous place.
But this is only for a short time.
And then the oil film on the water breaks up, the storm begins to rage with a vengeance.