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Protests Spreading And Deepening: Kremlin In Denial – OpEd

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The Ivan Golunov case, the SerpomPo telegram channel says, is “a catalyst which is accelerating the destruction of the existing system in Russia,” not only because it comes as protests are spreading and deepening across the country but also because even “odious, pro-powers” people have begun to speak out on behalf of the arrested journalist.

Their voices provide support for those who say that  the various regional and local protests in fact can come together and lead to a more direct challenge to the Putin regime, the telegram channel says (t.me/SerpomPo/3284 repeated at echo.msk.ru/blog/serpompo2018/2442589-echo/).

Already, SerpomPo says, “the number of protests on various issues is growing, and they have a tendency to combine, clearly showing society that the crisis in the system in Russia is everywhere: there is no segment where the affairs of the bosses are in good shape. They have ceased to cope with the situation everywhere.”

As those protesting one issue come to understand that, they are more than willing to combine with others protesting unrelated issues. “For example, people unhappy with the declining standard of living came out against the Russian Orthodox Church’s raid in Yekaterinburg.

According to the telegram channel, “the bosses if one judges by their behavior, do not understand this.” Instead, they think that arrests and the threat of more and upbeat statements about the economy are enough. But none of this is achieving what they hope and means they are “not in a position to stop the movement of people in defense of their rights.”

“The authorities already cannot run things in the old way,” SerpomPo concludes. “People ever more do not want to live as they did before. The country is waking up.” And the situation is now very much in motion.

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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