Posted 13 декабря 2022,, 14:29

Published 13 декабря 2022,, 14:29

Modified 25 декабря 2022,, 20:57

Updated 25 декабря 2022,, 20:57

In memory of the rynda, or how civil society was destroyed in Russia

13 декабря 2022, 14:29
Марина Шаповалова
Almost ten years ago, with the adoption of the law on volunteering and volunteering, the timid sprouts of self-organization of the country's citizens were destroyed.

Marina Shapovalova, writer

Rynda. Who will remember today the text of a Russian blogger with that title?

It was the end of summer 2010. In June-July, there was an abnormal heat, peat bogs caught fire. The author of the post about the rynda wrote about the destruction of fire ponds in his region: for decades it seemed that no one needed them, the authorities drained them, filled them up, sold the land, and when they flared up around the forest, the supply of water for extinguishing turned out to be an unsolvable problem. "Return the rynda!" - there was a demand “not to optimize” local farms by the Moscow cabinet discretion: the ponds created before and during the Soviet era were not a whim at all, thanks to them forests were preserved in rare dry years. But no one asked the inhabitants of the region when making decisions. The text then scattered in tens of thousands of reposts, raising a wave of popular indignation: “How long?”

Even before the smoke in Moscow, a volunteer movement seemed to have risen in the city: collection points were formed in the center and in the districts, people collected water, things, blankets, loaded gazelles, minibuses and went to fires. Videos from the disaster sites appeared on the network ... Prime Minister Putin answered the author of Rynda, praising civil initiatives.

Two years later there was a flood in Krymsk. Volunteer spontaneous activity was repeated: collecting the necessary, sending volunteer assistants in groups. From Rostov, Voronezh, Volgograd and Moscow, of course. Although, it would seem, where is Krymsk, and where is Moscow. But the year was already 2012. And the authorities, obviously not hindering civil self-organization, sensed a danger in it in time. And I realized in a known way to lead, since it cannot be prevented: a year later, a new bill on volunteer and volunteer activities was prepared. It regulates everything in detail with a list of certificates and documents necessary for registering “activities”. After the adoption of the law, any person who offered neighbors “like last time” to collect water and sandwiches for the victims automatically became a delinquent ...

This is just one stroke to describe the circumstances that explain the absence of civil society in Russia. Its sprouts naturally appeared and manifested themselves everywhere: in fundraisers, in initiatives for the joint arrangement of yards and porches, in work with children, in organizing holidays alternative to officialdom - as was the case with the Immortal Regiment when it appeared, when citizens tried to remember the war give a human dimension to family memory. The state took over and perverted everything that could not be crushed by regulation and direct prohibitions.

I know that they will definitely come to me here to say, they say, “but we did it!” Do not flatter yourself: you could because your state machine was weaker, poorer or stupider. Or all at once. The authorities, possessing superior resources and a powerful power apparatus, can squeeze out and crush everything. The larger and stronger the state, the more insignificant a person is in it.

Just don't forget about it! And then inadvertently you can repeat.