It is no secret that the completely unexpected award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, sparked a lively discussion on social networks, and it resulted in an equally unexpected proposal (now it is impossible to establish for certain who first expressed this idea) to nominate the newly-made laureate as a candidate for presidential post from the opposition. In any case, the writer and publicist Dmitry Bykov reacted to this proposal in his column on "Echo of Moscow":
“The idea of 'Muratov for the presidency' would be excellent: you can't just declare freedom, you need a transitional period and a compromise figure. He is the ideal systems player with a track record of leading a complex structure under constant threat. He is not a radical, he knows how to negotiate, he has tremendous authority in Russia and in the West, and in general, if Russia's task really included saving, there would be no better figure..."
Publicist Alexander Shmelev substantiated this idea in detail:
“For the third day, I think that Dmitry Muratov would now become an ideal opposition candidate for the presidential elections in 2024.
And from the point of view of electoral prospects, he is quite electable - unlike most of the conventional "liberals" (from the provinces, Russian, served in the army - unlike, by the way, from the successful "derailed" Putin, Shoigu, Lavrov, Mishustin, etc.) , worked in the beloved by the people "Komsomolskaya Pravda", a large, tall, with a courageous voice, middle-aged, a successful leader, a "strong business executive" - well, plus all this, he is now gaining mass fame as a "symbol of Russia in the world", that person, "which we can be proud of").
And a considerable part of the bureaucracy, security officials and business will be ready to agree with him, because he is not a radical type, and with many of them he maintains normal relations at all.
And it will not be easy for him to refuse registration due to the fact that the whole world will closely follow this (and, after all, he stood up for Pamfilov once, perhaps she would be embarrassed by the lawlessness of treating him in response ). Not to mention arresting him or poisoning him as a Novice.
The ideal option for a peaceful way out of Putinism is without revolutions, upheavals, collapse, civil wars and other horrors, but the exit is unconditional and steady (with all possible claims to Muratov, no one, it seems to me, should have any doubts that he is a consistent supporter person and democratic values). I'm ready to get involved in his election campaign right now!
Well, and anticipating possible claims from Navalny's supporters. Friends, let's be realistic? There is currently no chance that Navalny could be registered as a presidential candidate in this coming election. At the same time, Muratov is no longer so young (59 years old, at the time of the elections 63), so one term will be enough for him. And Navalny, on the contrary, is still ahead. 6 years is just enough time for Navalny to be released, receive rehabilitation on all charges, restore the destroyed organization and headquarters network, finally register his party, take part with this party in all regional, local and federal elections, get factions in regional LAWs and State Duma, and then to be nominated for the elections in 2030 as the leader of one of the Duma parties, a respectable and well-known politician who regularly appears on TV. Well, whether he will be able to win such elections in conditions of equal competition with other politicians who will declare themselves during this time will depend only on him. So, better join my idea and get involved in the Muratov presidential campaign! "
Political scientist Abbas Gallyamov did not stand aside from the discussion:
“For a presidential candidate, Muratov is too intelligent. In a normal situation, he probably would not have won the elections in Russia. In the situation of 2024, however, as a candidate from the united opposition, he could prove to be a very dangerous competitor for Putin. Muratov's intelligence will look not so much a disadvantage as an advantage. Just as Putin took off in contrast to Yeltsin, so now it can happen to Muratov.
It is his manner that corresponds to what the mass voter unconsciously craves. Moreover, he is “not a politician,” and he must remain so as long as possible. Politicians are not trusted anywhere, and especially in today's Russia. It is necessary to enter the game at the last moment - preferably at the call of the public and, as it were, reluctantly. Well, like “circumstances force”, “I can no longer look at where the country is heading,” and so on.
Another important plus of Muratov is that no one will call him a "weakling" - and this is the other side of "intelligence" in the mass consciousness. He looks like a Russian hero outwardly, and his biography is quite convincing. Leading independent media in Russia is definitely not for the weak.
Well, the Nobel Prize, of course, is also a very powerful factor. You no longer need to prove that you are a heavyweight.
And the fact that Muratov handed out the money attached to the prize to people - instead of taking it for himself - is generally a song. Can you imagine? Against the background of our elite tirelessly rowing under themselves? ..
By himself, Muratov does not look like a tough confrontational figure - in fact, it is precisely because of this that the radical liberals accuse him of compromise. Therefore, when asked about ideological predilections, he may well tell, for example, that he is a supporter of "consociational democracy". There is such a concept in Western political science, its essence is that in a split society it is possible to rule only by creating a coalition of representatives of different camps and ensuring broad autonomy for the latter in terms of organizing self-government. That is: we agree on the main thing, but in general we try not to interfere with each other's life. You see, speaking about ideology, the opposition candidate can say anything at all. After all, they will not vote “for Muratov,” but “against Putin,” so the only thing he really needs is not to develop anti-rating for himself, and there are no problems with “consociational democracy” in this sense: after a quarter of a century of rigid polarization and confrontation, the mass voter will definitely not oppose dialogue and compromise.
And as a slogan, you can choose the ancient: "Time to collect stones"..."
But political scientist, Doctor of Philosophy Dmitry Mikhailichenko was rather skeptical about this idea:
“Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov instantly became an object of politicization. This, in my opinion, indicates a shortage of new figures who are able to replace A. Navalny, but will be more constructive and manageable for the System. However, this is not surprising, because this is, in fact, an attempt to solve the problem of squaring the circle.
After the elimination of non-systemists, we see a simplification of the media field, increased censorship, stigmatization of groups of social disagreement and even an alternative opinion. The diet of public catering is becoming scarce, and the number of forbidden foods (topics for discussion) is becoming more and more.
Gradually, this trend is being adopted by the governors, who also want to get themselves out of public criticism. However, the problem with a critical mass of negativity in society does not go away. Therefore, some kind of substitute is needed.
But I think Muratov is talking about something else. And he will not want to trade his status of moral authority for the position of a controlled politician. After all, Muratov is not Prilepin.
In conditions where political protest is impossible, the energy of social disagreement and the politicization of this discontent can be applied to everything. On the environment, housing and communal services, health care, torture of prisoners, censorship, corruption, and so on.
This suggests a historical analogy with the post-reform period and the emergence of the zemstvo (1860-1870s). Then in the provinces, zemstvo enthusiasts immediately appeared, who did a lot of useful things, but most often they were displeasing to the governors. Russian society is now in approximately the same position. For the System, the development of horizontal ties, consolidation of groups and some kind of solidarity represent a distinct area of risk.
Journalists support I. Golunov, and comedians - I. Mirzalizade. Is this solidarity? Yes, at the level of medieval guild organizations. No more. It is significant that the politically correct showman G. Martirosyan hastened to disown such a form of guild solidarity.
The problem of Russian society is not even in the absence of a normal opposition, but in the narrowing possibilities for the development of horizontal ties. This is the path to the degradation of the subjectivity of society. That is why in Russian society such a resonance is caused by the actions of the Dagestanis who beat people in the subway or in the army.
Single people, limited in the development of horizontal ties, become vulnerable not only to the authorities, but also, for example, to diasporas, which are united, rather than atomized. Roman Kovalev was beaten in the metro, but no one helped him. In miniature, this is what can happen to Russian society if the potential for self-organization is further limited. This is the source of persistent phobias.
In this context, the figure of D. Muratov has significant moral capital. Muratov is in demand precisely as an ombudsman of civil society, a defender of freedom of speech and human rights. However, given the array of problems, the status of the ombudsman is not enough here, and no one is going to grant him the role of Lord Protector..."