Andrey Bazhutkin, the leader of the united long-haul truckers organization, says that drivers are now on strike “in more than 80 regions of Russia,” an overwhelming majority whether one counts the total as 83 or 85 with the illegal addition of Russian-occupied Crimea and Sevastopol.
The strikers are holding firm not only because they believe they have nothing to lose – an estimated 600,000 of them would lose their jobs if the Plato system is put in place but also because they are gaining support from other groups in the population and some in the regional governments like Tatarstan whose State Council may call on the Duma to cancel the Plato system.
And with each passing day, the strikers are becoming more unified and politically radical, with some in the North Caucasus now demanding that senior figures in the Russian government, including Dmitry Medvedev, meet with them and negotiate over their grievances.
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