The march for federalizing Siberia, planned for August 17th in the unofficial Siberian capital of Novosibirsk under the slogan “Enough feeding Moscow,” has been banned by the Novosibirsk city administration. The famous Moscow expert Andrei Piontkovsky in an interview to Radio Svoboda said that Moscow was very frightened by the scheduled march. “Draconian measures are being used. 17 Russian media outlets have received warnings, including such ones as the respectable Kommersant, the channel Dozhd and others. Thus, Russia took this initiative very seriously,” noted Piontkovsky.
Andrei Piontkovsky also believes that by banning such actions Putin shoots himself in the foot with regard to his actions to incite separatism in Ukraine. Citing Venediktov’s interview on Ekho Moskvy, Piontkovskiy states that “He is sharply critical of the Russian authorities that with their stupid idea of federalism in Ukraine stirred up the same sentiments in Russia… […] Why does Donbas separatism have a right to exist, and if it’s good, why can’t it also exist in Russia, in Siberia? Here in Russia we learned from the start that separatism is bad. When there was separatism in Chechnya we killed tens of thousands of people because of it. And in Siberia now the most popular slogan is “Enough feeding Moscow!”
The city administration had banned the protest “to ensure the inviolability of the constitutional order, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Russian Federation.” The march’s organizer Artyom Loskutov wrote in twitter that the ban is unmotivated and illegal.
"Для обеспечения незыблемости конституционного строя" pic.twitter.com/OxW0gSpFIe
— артём лоскутов (@kissmyba) August 4, 2014
In response to the ban, the organizers have submitted a notice of another march to be held on August 17, entitled “For the inviolability of the constitutional system, in particular for the state’s compliance with the principle of federalism laid down in Article 1 and 5 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.” Apart from changing the the march’s name, they filed a statement to the prosecutor’s office on the criminal actions of Novosibirsk officials under Art. 149 of Russia’s Criminal Code (obstruction of a meeting, rally, procession).