A Blogger Could Start Russia’s Arab Spring


The new face of the Russian opposition is a young whistle-blowing, shareholder activist, muckraking blogger by the name of Alexei Navalny. At 2:15 p.m. on Monday, he called his huge internet following to a 7 p.m. demonstration at the Chistye Prudy park to protest “the rotten total fabrication of Moscow election results.” He wondered why some Moscow districts reported 20 percent while identical districts next door reported 70 percent votes for United Russia.

Thousands showed up (the police claim 400). The protest was broken up violently and Navalny arrested.

The internet reacted immediately: Navalny’s wife posted the police station address and telephone number where he was being held. Navalny was quickly transferred to another location, which she duly reported to Navalny’s followers.

Navalny is scarcely known outside of Russia. As a minor shareholder in several Russian corporations, he asks embarrassing questions about management crimes and non transparency at shareholder meetings. In 2010, he won 45 percent of the votes in a virtual Mayor of Moscow election. The next biggest vote winner was “Against all candidates.” He exposed the theft of some four billion dollars by the management of the state pipeline company. He has exposed the circumstances of the prison death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Putin can sentence uncooperative oligarchs like Khodorkovsky to Siberia on trumped up charges. Navalny is a more difficult case. I imagine that Putin’s minions are gathering “kompromat” on Navalny. There have been or will be threats against his family. He will be arrested periodically, but each time Navalny’s stature will grow. If he is somehow silenced, hundreds of other Navalnys will emerge like sprouting mushrooms to take his place.

Putin’s reaction was typical KGB. He ordered 50,000 troops into the city. He organized counter demonstrations to show the Russia people’s love for him and his party. I guess you cannot teach old dogs new tricks. Stand-in president Medvedev sputtered that he was unimpressed with the “inconclusive” evidence of election fraud. Big surprise.

Putin knows what to do with the Khodorkovskys, the Kasyanov’s, and investigative reporters. He has no idea how to manage the blogosphere and Alexei Navalny.

Prompted by Navalny’s blog, Russians now commonly refer to Putin’s United Russia as the “Party of Crooks and Thieves.” Totalitarian regimes can survive almost everything with the exception of becoming an object of amusement and derision.

So far Navalny has been an irritating thorn in Putin’s side, but that thorn threatens to infect the whole body. Putin’s halo of popularity has disappeared. His image is now determined by Navalny and the Russian internet.

Putin needs to do a quick study of China before it is too late. The Chinese communists have been dealing with this problem for a longer time. быстрые займы на карту buy viagra online https://zp-pdl.com/get-a-next-business-day-payday-loan.php zp-pdl.com unshaven girl

екапуста займ онлайн на карту credit-n.ru займ на киви кошелек мгновенно
вивус займы credit-n.ru займ на карту без отказа без проверки
быстро займ на карточку credit-n.ru кредит без верификации карты
быстрые кредиты с плохой кредитной историей credit-n.ru займ на карту сбербанка мгновенно

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • FriendFeed
  • NewsVine
  • Digg

Place your comment

Please fill your data and comment below.

Your comment