Yury Batishchev, who styles himself as the leader of the Moscow liberation movement, Rusinsky Kray, has announced the formation on the territory of Moscow and Moscow oblast of what he calls the Moscow Peoples Republic, an online declaration that represents another way the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine are having a spillover effect in Russia.
And while such a declaration, made only online and picked up by another blogger whose words have been reported by only a few sites, may not be important in and of itself, it is an indication of the way in which such copycat political actions may create problems for the Russian authorities.
Some in the Russian security services may hope to use such declarations to channel opposition feelings or even to identify and then decapitate opposition groups, but as the situation in the Donbas shows, even those institutions the Kremlin sets up – and the Moscow Peoples Republic likely isn’t one of those – are ones that it may lose control over.
That is all the more so in this case because of the nature of the declaration that the new group has made. As reported by Infokava.com, on Friday, “the council of the Rusinsky Kray Liberation Movement” held a congress in Moscow, decided to organize a Moscow Peoples Republic and issued the following declaration:
“We the representatives of the city of Moscow and the plenipotentiaries of the Rusinsky Kray Liberation Movement declare: Beginning March 6, we are taking upon ourselves responsibility for defending the civil rights and freedoms of Muscovites which have been violated in the most cavalier fashion by the current authorities.
“We are compelled to organize civil protest actions on March 10 and April 14 in Moscow and its environs. We have taken part in the formation of the first independent civic corps for the military defense of Moscow.
“In our country, given the inaction of the president of the Russian Federation, have been violated without punishment the constitutional rights of citizens, have been violated the democratic principles of the freedom of the mass media, and have been cruelly limited the free access of citizens of the country to honest and objective information about the situation in the country and about the economic crisis in Russia.
“We ask all honest citizens of Moscow and its environs and also all social organizations to support our declaration and join in the formation of the MNR – the Moscow Peoples Republic.”