The participants of the Forum of free Russia, and other opponents of the Putin regime, it is necessary to speak not only about corruption and pensions, but also about politics, said Konstantin Eggert.
Forum of free Russia, which will convene in the Lithuanian Trakai near Vilnius this weekend for the seventh time, from may seem kind of “party for her”, a meeting where everyone knows each other and all agree. As a person who participated in most of these forums, starting with the first, I can say that this is misleading.
Garry Kasparov, the initiator and organizer of the event, helps to come to Lithuania not only to people known in opposition circles, but also dozens of civil activists from the Russian regions. They get the opportunity to communicate freely, exchange opinions, and sometimes just to understand that they are not alone. This is especially important when we are talking about people from the Russian hinterland. This probably is the main value of the forum.
This is not the only communication platform for opponents of the Kremlin, but I deliberately did not want to go into popular among the opposition debate on the topic “Who’s the boss?” and “Who is undermining who?”. It’s a waste of time.
Lessons in practical politics from the Bulk
But what, in my opinion, to waste time is to address several main issues. First – should all who do not like the current situation in Russia, to unite, regardless of looks, tried to do in 2011-2012, or whether we should refuse to cooperate with the nationalists, Communists and anarchists? Whether the opposition a single leader or not? If so, who they can become – and how then to avoid the cult of the leader?
To create your base of support or to try to split Putin’s most and drag most of it on his side? Whether to participate in the elections or not to spend the forces, because the authorities still block independent candidates? Finally, go to fight with a sound program or to get involved in the fight and to act according to circumstances?
Your clear answer to some questions today Alexei Navalny and his allies. A leader is needed. To participate in the elections depending on the specific circumstances. To win over to their side the most because of the active opposition minority and so are not going anywhere. The program does not articulate with the exception of the fight against corruption and popular socio-economic measures. On foreign policy, Ukraine, Crimea speak only in the most extreme case, as the audience is either not interested, or Putin’s “rising from its knees” she likes. The main slogan, as I have repeatedly heard from supporters of Alexei Medvedev, should become a requirement of justice.
It is suitable if the opposition slogan of justice?
This practical approach to politics, undoubtedly, many advantages. But there are also disadvantages. First, is automatically considered an ally of anyone who does not like Putin, rash. From my point of view, those who are indifferent to politics or even, until recently, was supported by the Kremlin, goes only for those who have a small but solid and noticeable its own base of support. Small and medium businesses, students, teachers – and not only in Moscow and Petersburg but in the regions – that’s who you need to make a firm and public allies. Political activity across the country likely to continue to grow. And the appearance, at least in cities such a base is quite real. Those who are indifferent to politics or support the Kremlin, they say, “on autopilot”, but rather to pay attention to growing their eyes force than themselves “will appeal to the new faith.”
Secondly, I’m not sure that the slogan of justice definitely good. Paradoxically, justice can be akin to terrorism. For someone a terrorist and not a terrorist at all, but a freedom fighter. And with justice. For someone in Russia is equality before the law, the payment of all taxes and equal starting opportunities. But for many it means quite another: “Take away and divide”. No matter what. Better, of course, billions of conditional Igor Sechin, but if you can not reach them, but there is a neighbor “Skoda”, then we can take it. There is such a risk? In my opinion, is.
The Image Of Putin’s Russia
Thirdly, the Kremlin talks all the time about foreign policy and security and seriously succeeded on this ground. Yes, the public is somewhat tired of the endless “Bandera” and “CIA spies” in a show of Vladimir Solovyov, but the approval of Putin’s policies is still very wide. In public, the Russian President always speaks about values – whether the Crimea, the relationship of the people and authorities or the history of the twentieth century. He has his own image of Russia – obedient to the rulers, and seeing enemies around, undemanding in our daily lives and living mostly with the past. No matter, this image is a byproduct of the desire to save power or not. It is important that he is. And how do you see the future of the country opposition forces, it is unclear to me. And do not think that pensions or landfills of concern to the Russians, and the big policy issues – no. Do not be worried – wouldn’t be Putin almost twenty years in the Kremlin. In the language of values on equal footing with him until says just one politician, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. And it’s a little weird, isn’t it?
Mikhail Khodorkovsky offers to remember about the charity, freedom and the law – in that order. It may be too difficult. Maybe at the time. Because the country’s violent manners freedom can lead to self-style “who are you?”, right in the dead legalism, and justice in Pugachev.
To operate on the ground every day. But I think without talking about the big ideas never change.