Angry Belarusian protests – ‘prototype’ for similar actions in Russia, Kalashnikov says

Anti-government protests in Mensk, Belarus on February 17, 2017 (Image BelaPAN)

Anti-government protests in Minsk, Belarus on February 17, 2017 (Image BelaPAN) 

2017/02/28 - 12:55 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

Street protests in Belarus show that “people are more angered by the arbitrary behavior of the bosses and the worsening of their personal standard of living than by something more broadly political,” Maxim Kalashnikov says. And that makes them “the prototype” for demonstrations that are already taking place across Russia.

Vladimir Kucherenko, better known by the pen name Maxim Kalashnikov

Vladimir Kucherenko, better known by the pen name Maxim Kalashnikov

In a commentary in today’s Komsomolskaya Pravda, the Moscow commentator says this pattern of protesting small things and not focusing on large slogans should frighten the authorities and be taken into consideration by the opposition “especially in the year of the centennial of two Russian revolutions.”

As yesterday’s marches in memory of Boris Nemtsov, Kalashnikov continues, “an attempt by the old liberal opposition to rouse people with slogans of ‘the Bolotnaya type’ [a reference to the 2011-2012 protests against the falsification of Russian elections] no longer leads to a breakthrough of any kind.”

Marches like the one yesterday get a lot of media time and space, he says; but they have the effect of distracting attention from something much more interesting. While the old opposition was organizing this march, protests of “angry” Russians about issues of immediate concern to them were taking place in numerous cities.

Thus, Russians are protesting plans to hand St. Isaac’s back to the Moscow Patriarchate, they have come out against construction plans that would harm the Pulkovo observatory, they have demonstrated against rising prices for water, heat, electricity and gas. And these meetings taken together involve far more than marched yesterday.

Kalashnikov says that he is confident in asserting that the more people have to pay for basic services, the angrier they will become, and the more ready they will be to go into the streets to try to force the powers that be to change course.

“Before our eyes,” he continues, “is the new face of the angry citizen. That of 2017 and not 1917, but also not that of 2014.”

Russians are patient, but they will not be patient forever; and if they see that they are being impoverished with no hope of betterment, they will take matters into their own hands.

Russians will protest any action that hits them in their pocketbooks, Kalashnikov says; and once they are roused for that reason, they may then begin to think of bigger issues, just as appears to be happening in Belarus.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Tony

    Russians are idiots for following kremlin hype, what did they expect? That picking fights with their neighbours and funding such adventures would lead to prosperity?
    No, far from it, in fact it has cost them about 3% of gdp, no wonder they’re in recession:
    1.”Russia’s GDP would have been 1.5 percent higher if sanctions had not been imposed against Moscow, former Russian Finance Minister and Committee of Civil Initiatives Chairman Alexei Kudrin has said”
    http://rbth.com/business/2015/11/21/western-sanctions-cost-rusia-15-of-gdp-alexei-kudrin_542921
    2. Syrian war costs them about $5 million a day (not counting lost equipment, helicopters, jets, etc). So thats about 0.1% of gdp.
    3. Ukraine war probably costs them at least the same amount, another 0.1% gdp
    4. Funding for non profitable Crimea, about 0.3% GDP per year.
    5. Crimean bridge, also about 0.3%
    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ukraine/2015-09-08/paradise-lost-crimea
    6. Funding to maintain unprofitable Donbass, about 71 million euro per month or roughly 0.1% gdp.
    http://m.bild.de/politik/ausland/ukraine-konflikt/russia-finances-donbass-44151166.bildMobile.html
    7. About $6 billion worth of lost gas sales to Ukraine or 0.45% of gdp. Even if you think Ukraine buys European gas which is really russian gas(not necessarily true as at least 60% of EU gas comes from outside russia), then russia is still loosing out because they cant charge Ukraine a higher price anymore.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-01-12/how-ukraine-weaned-itself-off-russian-gas
    8. As a consequence of russias actions in Ukraine, they now need to spend at least $10 billion on trying to build new pipelines to bypass Ukraine, another 0.75% of GDP gone.
    9. Other costs not included: loss of exports to Ukraine, funding conflict in Georgia, Transnistria, etc.

    Most countries are smart enough to understand that good relationships with neighbours is good for business, but not russia.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Those new gas pipelines are pointless. If Pedo Putolini bypasses the Ukraine by going through Turkey, he will be held hostage by Erdogan, who will simply tell the dwarf “This is what I want, dwarf, cough up or else!” Kyiv will get the gas it needs anyway, with reverse connectors with Poland being laid.
      Nordstream I is running at about 50% capacity so laying Nordstream II is simply a waste of money.

      • veth

        Russia’s Foreign Ministry accuses U.S. Congress in preparing economic blockade of Russia Washington must make its own decision on the prospects for the lifting of sanctions against Russia, as Moscow did not ask and does not intend to ask for that, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, the BBC Russian Service reported.

        Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/1800321-russias-foreign-ministry-accuses-us-congress-in-preparing-economic-blockade-of-russia.html

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          Dwarfstan didn’t ask for the sanctions to be introduced either! I fail to see what Dwarfstan thinks it will achieve by stating that it will not ask for the sanctions to be lifted. What’s the point of such a statement?

          • veth

            Ukraine did not ask to be invaded by the Russian Army………..

          • zorbatheturk

            Putin has a strange idea of friendship.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            If you have a choice between friendship with a rattlesnake or with Dwarfstan, choose the rattler.