Daghestan’s long-haul truckers detail their grievances in appeal to Putin

Russian police across the country make video recordings of trucks and signs of the striking long-haul truckers (Image: Anton Klimov / novayagazeta.ru)

Russian police across the country make video recordings of trucks and signs of the striking long-haul truckers (Image: Anton Klimov / novayagazeta.ru) 

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While some drivers are going home briefly to plant their gardens and while officials are claiming that the strike is collapsing, striking drivers in Daghestan today issued an appeal to Vladimir Putin detailing their grievances.

Arguing that the current situation in the transportation sector is “unjust,” the drivers say that they have five demands they are confident will “improve” the situation. These demands include:

  1. Complete cancellation of the Plato toll system
  2. An end to the transportation tax
  3. Better weighing of trucks and cargoes
  4. Better work rules
  5. A new system for calculating fuel taxes.

Significantly, the drivers base their arguments on constitutional grounds, arguing that the Plato system and other rules violate particular provisions of the 1993 Russian Constitution as well as specific Russian legislation.

Other developments in the long-haul truckers’ strike during the last 24 hours include:

  • One commentator says that the truckers strike will combine with protests against the destruction of the khrushchoby into what he calls a Russian Maidan.
  • Fears among ever more drivers that the authorities are going to stage one or more provocations against them.
  • A widespread decision among drivers no longer to watch Moscow television and indications that the younger drivers are even more radical than their elders.
  • Some truckers say that the regional authorities are so clumsy in their handling of the strike that soon they will be calling on drivers to name their children “Plato.”
  • Residents of Kirov have announced a demonstration in support of the strike for tomorrow.
  • Drivers in Sakha say they will convene a republic congress of drivers on May 5.

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Edited by: A. N.

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