Comments on: Arab Spring, Russian Winter Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:34:09 +0000 hourly 1 By: fin-challenger Tue, 27 Dec 2011 01:07:35 +0000 All western people make the same mistake.

They don’t differ little islamic poor-educated and econmically poor touristic-type countries (Tunisia, Egypt) or even autarchies (closed-economy-type countries, like Libya, Syria)
from orthodox nuclear countries, like Russia.

The difference is enormous:
– mostly well-educated population
– nuclear weapon and technologies (Russia is still the only country on the Earth that could annihilate USA)
– territory and population is much more bigger than examples above
– fundamental infrastructure (may be of bad quality but we have roads, transport, power plants and so on)
– self-suffiсient farming
– christian population
– аctually no problem with basic needs
– russia is the 10th world economy (in nominal GDP)
(due to climate, large territory and the surplus of resources – lack of competitive industries, but enough for home consumption in case of force majeure)

In this case it is not the problem of frustrated achievers.
The problem is that people in Russia suffer from bureaucracy and budgets thefts.
This problem is historical – it was for centures here – from the beggining of Russian Statehood.
It is not in the russian culture to fulfil control. That is why nobody fulfil duties well.
Only personal (private) promises and deals work here.

Nowadays the bureaucracy pressure becomes too hard for the middle class (citizens of big cities with 1 mln+ population).
Officials got too much power under the common people and the common and arbitration courts are not fair.

So actually people don’t protest FOR the fair vote.
They protest AGAINST interference of bureaucracy to their private life.

Elections in december – it was just confirmation that bureaucrats became brazen and insolent above the permissible.

Nobody here in Moscow wants any revolution.
But for centuries it was a sort of a social contract between population and the authorities – do not meddle in the affairs of each other.

And now people suppose that the other side violate the contract, because bureaucrats thrust their nose too deep into everything – education system, taxes, utility payments, exit abroad, juvenile justice, traffic and so on).
December elections – it is only “casus belli” (we say in Russia “last chinese warning” ))).

By: Ananke Tue, 20 Dec 2011 19:55:18 +0000 Chrystia, demonstrations in Russia are by ultra nationalists and ultra-communists, because the public feels the country is too open to globalization and foreigners. There is nothing pro-democratic, in fact people think the government is not authoritarian enough, Putin is not strong enough.
Same in North Africa – where do you see “spring”? The masses there want shariah and they revolt to achieve it. What freedom do you dream of? Unless you think Saudis-like regimes are the most liberal in the world.

By: maxim86 Tue, 20 Dec 2011 00:20:42 +0000 Sorry but there is no Russian Winter. There are some protests in moscow and Saint Petersburg. I sympathize with teh protesters very much, but there is nothing in connom between the protests in the arab countries and russia. There has been one demonstration of a decent size. just one, and tehre is not even certain how many people would come to the next one on 24th. no other city had seen major protest action. Except Saint petersburg, if you could call a 10.000 people demonstration in a 5.000.000 (!) people city a major demonstration. the other big difference between our protest and the protest in other countires is that nobody really wants revolution or immediate change. everbody wnats some reforms, or at least a new and fair election. however the new election will see United Russia get about 30-35 of votes. however the alternative are the communist who already called the proteste an orange virus. so what is the other alternative. So please stop using the Russian Winter expression. its just not true

By: mcarney Mon, 19 Dec 2011 19:00:55 +0000 Or, as some living in Moscow have suggested, the protests were largely orchistrated by Putin in order to demonstrate 1) the publics ability to protest unhindered, 2) the media’s ability to report the event freely and uncensored, and 3) the government’s ability to maitain restraint when confronted by the people.

It seems unlikely to me that even the Putin administration could organize 30,000 protestors. Though, it would have been a convienient way to take a more aggressive wind out of more earnest protestors sails.

By: Dafydd Mon, 19 Dec 2011 11:53:47 +0000 “Frustrated achievers are people who are just out of poverty or the lower middle class, …. They have made relatively large gains, ….. the gains around them are much bigger than their own, and bigger than they can ever achieve in their lifetime.”

A problem for Russia. China. But surely this problem is bigger in the west than elsewhere?

Shouldn’t you warn you friends in the global elite?

BTW, China need not be so worried. This sort of protest is much more common in a cociety that had a pervasive feeling of decline. Everyone in China knows they are on the up. They want a part of it. In Egypt, Tunisia, Europe, Russia and the US, we all know the place is falling apart.

By: petrengeneer Sun, 18 Dec 2011 18:57:11 +0000 good point, if history is any guide, no sane country will allow hitler-wannabees to participate in the election when Stalin already runs the country. in fact, there won’t be any elections at all because nowhere it says that people should have a choice.

By: russianlifemag Sun, 18 Dec 2011 18:53:55 +0000 Excellent summary. Question is, what does the future hold? If Putin is as savvy as he is made out to be, we should expect that en route to his re-re-election he will: (1) use widespread elite and general public dissatisfaction to clean house among the middle apparatchiki; (2) as a result of #1, sow great uncertainty and fear among the ruling class, stoking greater loyalty and more effective action next March; (3) heighten regime rhetoric about enemies within Russia and without – we are already seeing this about the U.S., in the “recess” from the “reset,” expect to also hear more talk about how Putin is the only bulwark against a communist revanche, against anarchy.

By: Ian_Kemmish Sun, 18 Dec 2011 14:21:08 +0000 One doesn’t normally associate the phrase “frustrated achiever” with those who vote for the CPRF!

I think it is the economy, it’s just a different economy and different people. To get where Russia is now from where it was after the default is an achievement, and we ought not forget that. But these days it doesn’t seem to be going much further. Russians travel abroad, and are able to compare their lives with those of others. A friend studying for an MSc at Edinburgh complained to me about student fees: “Finland doesn’t have any natural resources and doesn’t manufacture anything, but the Finnish students get all their fees paid. We have all that gas and oil and I have to pay everything myself.”

Perhaps, the economy has improved to the point where the drag of corruption on the economy has become all too obvious, yet all the voters get are vague promises to tackle the problem Real Soon Now.

By: max_x Sat, 17 Dec 2011 21:53:45 +0000 Good article, unbiased and right to the point. The thing is the main moving power of these demonstrations in Russia is not underpreviliged and underpaid group of people who overthrown tzar in 1917 and communism in 1989, but educated and well paid middle class who wants political reformes. From the very beginning it was clear that no revolution at least yet in Russia was possible, these people has much more to loose than those who did the previous Russian revolutions. As Pushkin said it ‘Russian revolt is senseless and merciless’. No one in his own mind wants to see it here.
But the message is sent – Russia needs the reforms, political, economical, social. Without them those who have power now are doomed, people can get desperate. I hope this message is understood.

By: chyron Sat, 17 Dec 2011 07:13:35 +0000 As user of russian-speaking internet i must concur that there protests were spontaneous – for almost a year quantity of both right- and left- wing astroturfers was off the scale. Of course it was their only chance – as no matter was election rigged or not, pro-western “liberals” (mostly with “ex-” in their resumes) failed spectacularly. And if anybody think that any sane country will allow hitler-wannabees to participate in elections..well, the only next step is to say that human sacrifices is protected under “freedom of religion”.