Posted 3 мая 2021,, 11:48
Published 3 мая 2021,, 11:48
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Yelena Ivanova, Natalia Seibil
Every day brings reports of interrogations and summons to the police for the testimony of teachers, professors, journalists. Navalny's headquarters across the country are being closed because of the threat to all workers to fall under an extremist article. Dissatisfaction in the country is growing, the pressure from the authorities on the dissatisfied is also growing. We talked with Yuliy Nisnevich, Doctor of Political Science and Abbas Gallyamov, a political scientist, about what the new tightening of the screws is talking about and where it is leading. Some thoughts surprised me.
- The logic is clear: if Navalny's headquarters are declared extremist, then everyone who works for them may come under criminal prosecution. This entire campaign was aimed at shutting down all these organizations. Another question - the closure will not remove the problem, and not in Navalny's plan, but in general, the protest problem. The economic situation is clearly deteriorating. Nobody can really hide it, and the increase in prices, and so on. Discontent will clearly grow.
Whether these will be Navalny's headquarters, or some other structures will appear, this is of fundamental importance, especially since our headquarters of Navalny were not so effective for the general population, they were more for young people, and the protest will now begin to develop among people more older people, especially since they do not really like Navalny. It's another matter that now these games with challenges after the protests of professors, teachers, some journalists, people who were not very opponents, they will be big opponents.
It is an ill-considered stupidity when they began to invite people on face recognition, to make decisions on people from very wide social strata - journalists, scientists, teachers. This will clearly only increase the discontent. It will no longer be possible to silence this discontent.
- It is clear that the activities of Navalny's supporters will become much more chaotic and spontaneous. If these people want to be involved in politics, they will still be involved, but it will be less organized. On the whole, the Russian political process will become less organized, more chaotic, and even less predictable. The protests will not go anywhere, they will continue to flare up. The very fundamental reasons underlying the protest are still there. Putin is in the Kremlin, the course does not change, the repression continues, the standard of living is declining, the request for renewal is not satisfied. The power rhetoric of the authorities annoys people more and more - that is, all these fundamental reasons remain.
The protest will continue, it will become spontaneous and will flare up unexpectedly in different places for different reasons, like it happened in Khabarovsk, when no one could predict, or how it was around Golunov, or like in Belarus last year. That is, the level of chaos will increase in Russian politics.
- Navalny worries me to a lesser extent, because the authorities made a hero out of Navalny with their own hands. In fact, he never enjoyed much support, and a lot of people who went to rallies because of Navalny, they are not for Navalny. They went out because this is not how you behave with a person whom they don't even like. The authorities themselves provoked this promotion. Well, they will remove Navalny's headquarters, this structure will leave, and another will appear. The mood of protest will grow, this is an inevitable process. This is due to the deteriorating economic situation and ridiculous political actions, such as administrative persecution of people from wide social circles. They were not such active opponents, but now they will react to the actions of the authorities: why was this teacher arrested or this professor, because he went out into the street? He was arrested, so I will be arrested tomorrow. It will snowball. They themselves provoke the discontent of people who were not so oppositional.
- For “smart voting” Navalny himself is needed. We need a sufficiently authoritative person, whose power of influence on the minds of voters and his supporters is so strong that they are ready to go and vote for imperfect candidates - for the communists, even for the LDPR members, that is, go and vote as he says. This is not what FBK (announced as a foreign agent - editor's note) Does. There are fundamental reasons that make people show their dissatisfaction, and they are ready to get out of their pockets and show a fig. And this is the role of a person, to whose opinion they listen, who names specific candidates for them, and they follow his instructions without reasoning. Therefore, if Navalny manages to transfer the list from prison, then the headquarters themselves are not very needed there. If this list goes online, people will see it on social media, disperse it, and vote.
About power, repression and protest
- There is a problem of the professionalism of our power structures. Even the steps that are being taken are not interesting to discuss, because one absurdity follows another. In the age of the Internet, information cannot be blocked. It is necessary to close the country as Xinhua Agency, but even then something else can be done. But there is also a protest movement in China. There is only North Korea, unplugged and that's it. And then I suspect that with new technologies, hundreds of satellites revolve around the Earth, which transmit signals directly from there. Fortunately, the Korean population has no receiving devices, in all other countries this is not a question. Flogging is a dead-end direction.
There is, to some extent, a link between the worsening economic situation and the intensification of repression. This is an attempt to divert attention, a classic version of the search for the reasons for the deterioration of the economic situation in the presence of an internal enemy. We advertise the outside, but this is also an attempt to say that we have a fifth column.
Such a card can be played, and there is certainly a correlation, maybe not a direct relationship, but there is some kind of connection. An attempt is now being made to reduce discontent, but it is doomed to failure. They begin to call for interrogations, impose fines, trying to show: guys, you are sitting here and do not stick your head out. But then they forgot that we have a lot of ordinary Soviet people, but that social part, which should be influenced by this, has already emerged from this ordinary Soviet person. This will trigger a backlash.
- The opposition has reached out to the deep people. Now, for the first time in Putin's time, a liberal protest is beginning to be linked with a mass protest, with an economic protest. That is, people who have always been supporters of the authorities are leaving them and are increasingly listening to Navalny and the radical opposition. That is why the authorities have to change their tactics, that is, repressions against the protesters obviously worsen the attitude towards the authorities, including among the deep-seated people. Therefore, the authorities understand that this cannot be continued, otherwise they will completely lose their social base.
Power spreads rot to all who are against. I don’t see young people huddled up separately. All the leaders of the protest are hit. The authorities are combining refusal to repress mass protestors with increased repression against protest leaders and media representatives.
They understand that the protest is growing, and if nothing is done, they will lose. They will start losing elections, the people will start the Orange Revolution, so they are trying to intimidate.
Control over the situation has been transferred to the security forces, and they tighten the screws to the best of their ability and capabilities. Maybe fear is not very suitable here, but this is due to the understanding that there are no other alternatives. The alternative is defeat.
- The protest vote will be strong. Further, much depends on how the authorities will behave, whether they admit the defeat of some of their candidates, whether they will let some of the oppositionists through, what percentage of United Russia they will try to draw. After that, a new Swamp may happen, it may not happen. It all depends on the actions of the authorities. Now no one can confidently predict. The beneficiaries of the "smart vote" will be the communists, somewhere the Democratic Party members, somewhere new people, those who will be registered.
- I said for a long time that the elections have ceased to be any significant event. Everyone knows in advance how it will end. This event, which is called an election, is of little interest to anyone. This is an event that has lost any serious interest. Well, there will be elections, well, United Russia will win. Nothing will change from this.
There is no non-systemic opposition. There are separate large groups of dissatisfied people, but there is no opposition as a network group. There is Navalny's group, there are municipal deputies, but there is no serious coordinated opposition yet. It is growing. Sooner or later it will manifest itself, but so far it is not there.
I am currently engaged in protests. In many countries, protests broke out in waves without any centralized organization. This is a modern phenomenon. A wave of protest can roll around without a centralized organization. What does this have to do with elections? None. We must forget about the overturning elections, this political science rubbish. Something happened to one or two dictators in the elections. All the rest have already learned so much to regulate the institution of elections that they simply will not allow overturning elections. They simply do not exist. Give me examples in the world of tumbling elections. 5-10 years ago there were isolated cases in individual African states, but not now.
How power will change
- The violent transformation of Russia into Belarus is a dead end. To rule in the hope that you will die faster than you will be overthrown? Putin also understands this. I hope that at some point it will launch Operation Successor. If it is not some kind of outright ghoul, but more or less a person without anti-rating, Operation Successor will remove all contradictions. If the mass voter returns to the authorities, he will vote for a successor, some conditional Mishustin, if Mishustin does not increase his anti-rating by that time. Now he has already appeared - in the development of the law on education, a government decree has been issued. If they prepare a successor in this way, then there will be problems with the election of a successor. It is clear that this will be a representative of the system, so the anti-rating of the system will be on it. But the main thing is that he does not have a personal anti-rating. It is necessary to conduct a personal personalistic program, and this will remove the problem. So a compromise is possible.
- What is meant by peaceful change? The experience of many countries shows that there are changes, leaders leave, but, it is true, leaders leave, regimes do not change. This happens in a peaceful way, when inside the ruling corporation they understand that it is necessary to take some step to relieve tension. Well, one leader is removed, power is transferred to other representatives of the same social groups that govern. If you call it a peaceful way, then this option is quite possible. This is not a change in the ruling system, it is its attempt to transform itself. But the transformation will not lead to any radical changes, this system is not viable. See what kind of unprofessionalism it engenders in everything. I'm not even talking about the economy. But Soviet intelligence officers are probably already turning over in their grave from what the current ones are doing and how they are being caught by the hand. Soviet diplomats, and I am well acquainted with representatives of Soviet diplomacy of the highest rank. They say that in Soviet diplomacy there could not have been such incompetent people who are now engaged in diplomacy. And this is in everything. How can there be a system that is not competent in everything?