Russian non-system opposition

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Finnish MP / MEP / Minister Heidi Hautala (left) with Boris Nemtsov in Saint Petersburg during Strategy 31 protests on the 31th day of the month

(Includes some politicians, artists, journalists, scientists).

Artists

Actionists

Stich Red Square Wired Psychiatric hospital roof "Svoboda" action-recreating Maidan in St Petersburg.
9.11.2015. Sets FSB entrance on fire in a staged photo-op, arrested, administrative charges filed ( hooliganism)- report. Criminal charges (vandalism) -report. Reaction to this latest action is strongly divided, along the opposition/pro government line.
  • Pussy Riot, Tolokonnikova, Alekhina
'Chaika' clip, -visuals and critical review by Roman Popkov, Feb. 7, 2016
  • Voina ('War') art group
Action "Dick in FSB Captivity", Liteinyi bridge, St Petersburg

Journalists

  • Venediktov, editor-in-chief, Echo of Moscow ('Ekho Moskvy-Russ.).
Putin responded to Venediktov, at a meeting with the heads of Russian media, Jan. 18, 2012, Novo Ogarevo, Moscow.
Episode is based on stupid comments on Echo Moskvy about anti-missile defense system deployment by USA in Europe. It needs to be understood that Ekho Moskvy typical program consist of talk shows involving various arts, social sciences, or journalism majors without any training in technical (or other relevant professional fields, such as arms control or international relations). Chances of having such technically illiterate pronouncements in those talk shows is therefore high. Unfamiliar with exact commentary at issue. It appears that since that episode Venediktov continued with his job and was able to receive media briefings with top officials of the state.
"11 minutes after this episode", Putin offered Venediktov to become his authorized representative (lit. 'confidant'-доверенное лицо, Rus.) for the upcoming presidential elections. Venediktov turned downed the request (as well as requests from two other candidates, according to his later interview).
Recently translated at Fort Russ as evidence of Venediktov 5 column membership, and listed as a CIA agent and a schizophrenic with symptoms of aggressive, uncontrolled negativism, in a translation of another article with some noteworthy graphics in front .
--Resup (talk) 20:11, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Politicians

21.11.15 Non system opposition do not have factions in current Duma, dominated by the ruling "United Russia" block. Next elections are in Fall, 2016, with opposition struggling to be above the required 5% threshold. Attempts to join forces are underway for quite some time, with unclear outcome. "Democratic choice" is, or was, one of attempted unification blocks, including RPR Parnas (Kasianov, late Nemtsov), and Party of Progress (Navalnyi). It is said that Open Russia of Khodorkovskii may be involved as well. But at least one other major opposition group, Yabloko, seems to go separate ways. Some latest developments are reflected on RPR Parnas site

10.4.2016 Aleksey Navalnyi: "Navalnyi is CIA agent code name 'Freedom', and he killed Magnitskii" (and so Russsian Channel 1 says).

Khodorkovskii

  • Russia reopens a criminal case, declares Khodorkovsky arrested in absentia, places him on international wanted list, for his alleged role in murder of two people; news and background info TASS (Rus), Dec. 23, 2015.
Official announcement by the Russian Investigative Committee (Rus).
Vladimir Petukhov, the first popularly-elected mayor of oil-rich Nefteyugansk, was shot dead on his way to work on June 26, 1998, which happened to be Khodorkovskii birthday. Petukhov as a mayor insisted that Yukos pay more taxes, while Yukos would prefer this to be less, setting grounds for a conflict. With laws of the land being inadequate for capitalism arrival, rules of business and political games were set by complicated relations among top players. In case at hand, it is said that Petukhov started a hunger strike demanding a criminal prosecution of Yukos. Regional governor agreed to investigate the matter. Petukhov was shot and killed shortly after (Petukhov bodyguard was shot as well but survived). Khodorkovskii is also accused in an attempt on the life of a businessman Evgenii Rybin, who had a business and financial dispute with Yukos (demanding from Yukos a payment in the amounts of 50-100 mln $); it is also said that he had unpaid debts to another party. Here is a quote from RT, showing a version close to the official Russian investigation(s) :
The investigation (previous one) found the killing to have been a well-prepared assassination, coordinated by former Yukos oil company Vice-President Leonid Nevzlin and organized by former Yukos security head Aleksey Pichugin. While a Russian court sentenced Pichugin to a life term in prison for three murders and four attempted murders, Nevzlin was sentenced to life in absentia, as he escaped to Israel to avoid the charges. Unlike his subordinates, Yukos CEO Khodorkovsky was not charged with murder, but spent 10 years behind bars for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.

Alternative Presidential Candidates

Sept.12, 2016. Khodorkovskii launches a web project, with list and basic info on alternative candidates for 2018 Russian presidential elections. Registered users can add candidates, and their votes are used to set candidates rating. At present, leaders are Navalnyi (anti-corruption), and Shlossberg (famous for reporting on presumed Russian soldiers graves), followed by Evgenii Roizman (getting a lot of mixed press coverage for his anti-drug project). Economist Kudrin has quite high rating too, while Kasyanov (PARNAS) got very negative one (many character attacks on him in media).

  • At present, it is not announced whether Putin runs in 2018 elections. (Based on his current published rating, he is likely to win if he does). Mainstream parties are expected to have their leaders run for president, e.g Yavlinskii (declared to run, Yabloko party). It is likely that other candidates will include Ziuganov (communists), Zhirinovskii (so-called 'liberal democrats'), but it is not yet declared (wiki).
  • According to Kremlin spokesman Peskov, this project was developed by people 'irreversibly detached from Russia', and 'we do not see anything interesting in this project'.

Khodorkovskiy in paywalled WSJ article (free Russian version here) takes on US-Russian relations and calls to 'understand real problems of Putin and his associates in Russia'. 'The prevailing goal is to delay unavoidable departure from power', 'military adventurism and police state are tools to achieve that objective'. 'Putin cannot resign without grave personal risks'. (This sort of perception is quite common and expressed across the political spectrum. Indeed, there were essentially no instances of orderly peaceful transition with a substantial change of the course; e.g. Yeltsin resignation was coupled with naming Putin as a successor who, in common perception, was supposed to ensure Yeltsin's dignified retirement, as part of the deal. Nobody is around to be such a guarding angel now, apart from perhaps security people--but that would not be a change of the current course, so why to even bother). --So some truth in this; --but without saying that Khodorkovskiy represents an attractive alternative --Resup (talk) 01:30, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

Radicalization

Recently (and after years of little dialogue or opportunity to affect the events) demands of a few political opposition figures became radicalized, calling for revolutionary change, undoing everything that was done by current authorities right on their arrival, etc. What they say is not always totally groundless. Yet it is not well thought out from start to end, does not have enough concern about fates and desires of real people and not just formal principles; and is too radical, for a country with enough revolutions in recent history already. Those opposition figures are foreign-based and foreign-supported; and do not really have compelling (for Russia, not their sponsors) ideas of how changes are supposed to come about or what and how is coming next. Thus it will likely lead to major problems and upheaval as was seen in post-Maidan Ukraine, or post-collapse of the USSR, if realized in practice. At present this does not have popular support and is essentially on the fringes, even among non-system opposition; but in overall difficult economic situation and at time of de-facto 'hybrid warfare', it is hard to be sure how all that may play out. Unfortunately there is no meaningful dialogue, with both sides too preoccupied with undoing the other, or preaching to the converted, and so at this time things do not seem to evolve in any hopeful direction .... --Resup (talk) 16:25, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Maltsev

22 Aug. 2016. Viacheslav Maltsev, PARNAS party, in televised debates on Russia 1 channel made unusually strong-worded critical comments calling for Putin impeachment, called to unite to prevent bloody revolution and to make it by constitutional means, etc. This follows even more critical comments on his youtube channel and social media. There seems to be no positive component for changes for better. 'Patriotic' opposition is wondering what's going on, is he perhaps provocateur or a 'trial ball' of some sort launched by pro-western oligarchs, etc, as calling for revolutions, etc, breaking Russian law and people have been in difficulty for less, and that they do not have access to major TV channels promoting more balanced, they believe, approach. Nemtsov was very critical too but he seemed to have more analysis and a positive component for changes. It is unclear at this point is this Maltsev TV surprise something genuine or some sort of spectacle. Remaining PARNAS candidates are sort of boring or compromised in public view, one way or another, sometimes by dirty means, or else by alleged corruption/foreign control, etc.

  • In September, 2015, schedules next revolution in Russia by November 5, 2017, on video. This is also sited in another recent video attempting to link him or PARNAS with Russian nationalists such as Demushkin (and Ukrainian Right Sector types) . The latter video, along the lines that Russian Maidan is in the works, may have some basis to it, but also exaggerates just one unfavorable aspect making it appear as large as possible and out of broader context, likely aiming to show in bad light PARNAS with Duma elections approaching, Sept. 18, 2016. On the video, persons resembling Maltsev and Demushkin discuss joint plans, including 5.11.2017 revolution, which is to start by a nationalist march a day earlier (around 19:00 time stamp on the video). Demushkin denied having or discussing such plans with Maltsev answering reporter question (18:40), before we see, apparently, hidden camera recording of their meeting.
Noted: some things shown are likely illegal under very tight Russian laws; preparing a Maidan would be. People were having problems for less, often in indirect ways. (...Like elsewhere, worldwide...) Recordings could be made by police/security and given to journalists, apparently to affect elections instead of prosecution (more benefit this way at this time?).

Alexey Navalnyi

MAJOR scoop of Alexey Navalnyi, accusing PM Dmitrii Medvedev in illicit ownership of real estate, wine, agriculture projects, yachts, managed by foundations which he claims are specially created to cover this up.

  • He is not 'Dimon', by Alexey Navalnyi, video, link to written version in video description. Estimated value of those properties is perhaps 1 bln USD (he counted about 70 bln rubles in combined donations by oligarchs and bank loans).
  • Dorenko, a famous pen & mouth for hire: there is no corruption in Russia at all. Corruption is only possible in capitalist system. In feudalism, some people subsistence just needs to be maintained. (And also: navalnyi is just prepares his election run).
  • 'In the eyes of a clown', Andrey Karaulov (wiki) 40 minutes long attempted video rebuttal. Main objections raised, footwear purchases, etc, had to pass security, not go via intermediary company; and that genuine prime minister estate would be protected from the air and not available for drone filming; plus attack on Navalnyi character and dealings. Overall, kind of fair game, in the sense that neither Navalnyi nor this rebuttal prove their main claims beyond doubt and is more to do with painting an opponent in unfavorable light with largely circumstantial information, for broad masses political consumption. With corruption being genuine serious problem, perhaps Navalnyi still got some edge in this videos mud slugging competition. Talking heads like Kurginyan, famous for attacking opolchenie from patriotic sort of angle, and for his theatrical experience, take a part here in attacking Navalnyi.
  • Official rebuttal: not known at this time, will be added when spotted. Possible rebuttals: (1) those are private properties owned by those foundations, as the documents show indeed (2) those are state properties (3) ...(etc), (so what?) ...(etc) .
    --Resup(talk)17:53, 4 March 2017(UTC)

Grass-root protests

Farmers from rich agricultural region of Kuban attempted a march on Moscow driving their tractors all the way. They protest that land was unfairly taken from them using machinations with land law. Some big rig drivers joined them, protesting tracking and payment system 'Platon' (the latter dispute is over a year old). Protest was blocked in Rostov region, after farmers met with assistant presidential representative for Southern Federal District and assistant governor of Krasnodar region, but refused to stop the protest, as the issue was not resolved since they protested half a year ago. Farmers were detained, driven back, fined, on the grounds that their protest was not properly authorized. -Kommersant.ru, 23 Aug, 2016.

Sept. 7, 2016. Two protesters picketing during Medvedev visit were detained in Buryatia. Their posters mock some awkward commentary by Medvedev which went viral on social media. First poster: "No money. (But) we keep up. The mood is bad" (following Medvedev comments to Crimea pensioners on pension indexation (briefly) no money, but you keep up, all the best to you all). (Eventually it was decided to pay pensioners a lump sump instead of indexation to counter inflation, with indexation to follow later). Second poster, "Quit school to do business. Burned. Thank you", following Medvedev recommendation to teachers not happy with their salaries (compared to those of policemen, etc), to earn money in business. (At some point in summer of 2016 there were rumors that to raise salaries to some academics, others will have to be fired, said to be on agenda of the government. Those rumors were quickly denied).

Russian bc?

An article by Alexey Zotiev published on Cassad introduces bc to those unconverted. In particular, makes this update: ..recently, "Ruslan Leviev, a programmer from Navalnyi anti-corruption foundation has joined this team. This 'expert', hailing from Surgut, and recently moved to Moscow, without leaving his apartment, is telling to the whole world some tall tales about, as he claims, soldiers of a Russian GRU unit number 16, killed in Ukraine. This military burial sites hunter is publishing his sensationalized discoveries on bc and his livejournal page...(etc)... " (well, Navalnyi said a number of things, good, bad, and indifferent, "Forward, rams! (aka Forward, Idiots!) was one of his saying--hope this is not like that this time around...Anyway, some people are born to be in opposition, maybe if they are placed in the West, they will join us, and not bc's. And the same goes with the brown nosing of course--Resup (talk) 17:58, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Leviev was in a group of those who launched a challenge in the Russian supreme court to the President order (28.5.15) to make secret MoD losses "in peaceful times when special operations are conducted"; violators may be charged under article 283 of the criminal code (article) (commentary). Denies a serious involvement with Navalnyi foundation-says he just did some websites for them. Demands a salary from Belingcat after Cassad publication (twitter post). --Resup (talk) 05:08, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Other

Anatolii Ermolin is a retired lieutenant colonel of an elite FSB (formerly KGB) spetznaz "Vympel", turned commentator/journalist. Here is his appeal warning on grave dangers of spreading hatred, addressed to the president of Russia, and written shortly after Nemtsov murder. Lately speaks against war-mongering propaganda.

Sources


ECHR

January 5, 2016 Frumkin vs Russia (On 6 May 2012 Frumkin was arrested during the dispersal of a political rally at Bolotnaya Square in Moscow ... 25, 000 award to Frumkin.

link http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{"languageisocode":["ENG"],"documentcollectionid2":["JUDGMENTS"],"itemid":["001-159762"]}
Russia recently said that it does not necessarily have to follow ECHR; it remains to be seen how this will play out. Changes to the supreme court law Chairman of the constitutional committee of the Russian Federation Council explanation

Security and Legal Matters

  • 'Secret training of National Guard, Moscow region, 7 April 2016'. Video shows training of Russian National Guard, the newly formed structure based on MOI interior troops (170 thousand interior troops, 200 thousand security guards, 30 thousand OMON and SOBR, Victor Zotov is the chief), according to captions. It was posted by 'Open Russia' (Khodorkovskii), and appeared in both 'opposition' and 'patriotic' media such as comments sections of Rusvesna and on Cassad blog. (Factually, all trucks have 'police' markings on them).
Another video cut, to a different music
A practical illustration: video of OMON making arrests, Gypsy protests and disturbances, village of Plekhanovo, around March 17, 2016 . (They built housing in the village without permits, allegedly illegally hooked up to a gas pipe, supply to the village itself was interrupted; when repair crews arrives some clashes occurred, OMON was called in, leading to arrests).
Interior troops indeed took part in two wars in Chechnya, as well as regular army. That was a different sort of thing, much more violent. National Guard now for something like this? Seems more appropriate for regular army and spetnaz, not for ex-MOI and security guards...
  • Yarovaia-Ozerov (1) (2) draft laws on 'additional measures for counter-terrorism and public safety' were introduced in Duma.
The law was criticized by presidential council for civil society and by the opposition. In particular, the law will penalize for 'assisting extremist activity', which may turn out to include a broad range of activities.