Andrey Kolesnikov, head of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, seeks in an article published on the Center's website for analogies between the modern protest movement in Russia and Soviet dissidence in the 1960s.
So, in the famous trial in the case of Sinyavsky and Daniel, who were accused of publishing anti-Soviet works in the West, ended with the conviction of the first to 7 years, and the second to 5 years in prison under the article "Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda." The resonance caused by this verdict was in the West no less than the recent verdict on Navalny. The influence of this affair on the minds also turned out to be significant, it was then that the "democratic intelligentsia" began to form in the country, which later underwent perestroika.
From this case, the dissident movement in the USSR began, which developed as the authorities froze all democratic trends both inside the country and outside it, for example, introducing troops into Czechoslovakia in October 1968, or defeating the editorial office of Novy Mir Alexander Tvardovsky in 1970.
Today's protesters and those who suppress protests are unlikely to know this, but there are many coincidences between those events and the current ones. Say, today you can sit down for a repost, and then for the dissemination of information.
Like today, those who protested and fell under the skating rink of Soviet "justice" also demanded that the Constitution and the rule of law be observed. And the very struggle of the dissidents began precisely not for the overthrow of the regime, but for literal adherence to the letter of the law. Even today, appeals in Article 31 of the Constitution on the right to assemble peacefully without weapons have the same meaning, since the norms specified in Chapter 2 of the Russian Constitution have direct effect, that is, not mediated by permits and bylaws.
As then, the security forces detain potential protesters in advance, citing today a violation of some pandemic sanitary rules or disruption of traffic.
Protests are opposed by workers' putings and flash mobs, as in the 1960s, when Soviet workers were opposed by propaganda to urban bums. In Russia, it was the workers of the Uralvagonzavod, who stood up for Putin, and in the 1960s, the workers of ZIL.
The current law on foreign agents is identical, and the then-for the dissemination of deliberately false fabrications discrediting the Soviet state and social system, as well as group actions that violate public order. Judges behave in the same way, violating procedural norms and not listening to lawyers.
The author considers the impossibility of keeping silent as a powerful stimulus for today's protest activity, just as the dissident Larisa Bogoraz said in 1968 at the trial of the “case of seven” who came out to Red Square to protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia: “I was faced with a choice: to protest or keep silent... To keep silent meant to lie for me... It was not enough for me to know that my vote was not in favor - it was important for me that my vote would not be against".
And the very attitude towards dissidents and participants in protest actions is also similar. In the years of conscience, the attitude towards dissidents was a matter of honor and dishonor, an expression of aggressive conformism or deliberate sacrifice, which manifested itself in the same way as now - in demonstrative support for the actions of the authorities, noticeable to the authorities, or in an equally indicative participation at least in verbal protection of the persecuted with an understanding of the implications for a career or study.
The processes of that time also became a pretext for information wars, although the forces of state and typewritten media were completely unequal, but the nature of the confrontation was the same. The state (and there were no other) media in the same way defamed and poured verbal slop on the dissidents, as the Solovievs and Kiselevs today are protesters. So the existence of the Russian repressive matrix is obvious, everything is repeated...