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Anti-Putin march photos

Blogger Rurrik at The Whims of Fate has a terrific collection of photos of the anti-Putin marches in Russia (including Kasparov being detained). There are so many images that I will not link to a specific article, just check out the whole blog (do not just look at the first page).

russia_protest_const.jpg

The sidebar statement about the Russian Federation on The Whims of Fate is:

  • Brutally Suppressed Opposition
  • Bureaucratic, Corrupt, Backwards Government
  • By the Grace of God, Emperor Tsar
  • Byzantine Justice
  • Censorship
  • Church as Arm of the State
  • Extravagant Ruling Elite
  • Huge Unwieldy Army
  • Political Assassinations
  • Powerful Secret Police
  • Subservient Parliament
  • Widespread Abject Poverty

17 comments to Anti-Putin march photos

  • WalterBoswell

    Am I doing the maths wrong? 40 : 1 ratio in favour of the police. That’s one mighty scared regime.

  • Gabriel

    http://www.ej.ru/upload/entry/6733/10.jpg

    Oh look National Bolsheviks. Trenchant supporters of individual rights I’m sure and a pretty flag too!

  • I am under no illusions that all (or even most) the people opposed to Putin are good guys. Some are overt Nazis in fact who think the problem with Putin is that he is a softie.

    However some of the opposition actually are good guys and others are far-less-bad-guys.

  • Nick M

    My wife speaks fluent Russian. It keeps us in bread and cheese as Holmes would put it. She told me Putin isn’t that bad.

    On further questioning it turned out that what she meant was that in the context of Russian history Putin isn’t that bad. Well, I’m not going to argue that one. Ivan the Terrible used to fry his enemies in a huge frying pan in Red Square. Whether or not he bunged in some garlic and shallots is alas not recorded. I’ve been picking my way through “Court of the Red Czar” recently by S S-M (my father-in-law has a taste for grim history). So Pooty-Poot ain’t in the same league.

    My favourite despot is Vlad Tepes. Who’s yours?

  • Paul Marks

    Russian history is not all Ivan the Terrible.

    Even before Alexander II (end of serfdom, introduction fo trial by jury and so on). There were such things as the Cossacks (their bad side is known to me – but they were free farmers, and paid no taxes), and the Free Peasants of the North.

    But one does not have to go back so far.

    Under Yeltsin (for all his Western advised mistakes on high tax rates and a big credit money bubble – and his worse mistake of entrusting Mr Putin with a powerful position), there was trial by jury (real trial by jury – not trials when the verdict is decided in advance), and many newspapers, and radio and television stations that were critical of the government.

    Nor did the government steal vast assets (on the grounds that the owners had not paid enough for them – or on the grounds that the owners were “oligarchs” or “plutocrats”, i.e. JEWS) or toss the owners into labour camps.

    Nor did the government murder journalists and others who expressed dissent.

    Or poison politicians of other nations (such as the man who is now President of the Ukraine) for the “crime” of not being the servant of the Kremlin.

    I will say what I have said before.

    This stuff about Russia always being this bad reminds me of the saying “first they smash your face in, and then they say you were always ugly”.

  • mike

    Berezovsky was talking about violent revolution wasn’t he, despite mentioning something about being in touch with people on the inside?

    The question is – is this just an attempt to get someone else from within the regime to stop Putin from running a 3rd time, or is it a political excuse for a proper anti-Putin candidate for next year’s election, or could it even be the start of something proper?

    The Kremlin may police the streets, but clearly they don’t police the blogs. Nevertheless, actual photographs of actual people actually standing up to the Putin regime in public are going to have a far greater impact on popular opinion in Russia than any number of carefully written blog articles. It is one thing to write what you think from the comfort of your living room, but a totally different thing to shout out what you think in public where you can quite easily be killed for doing so. The power of blogs lies at least as much in their capacity to document bravery like that as anything else. I just hope those people realize how much they are putting their lives in danger.

    Nick M: was Vlad the Impaler really a Russian?

  • Paul Marks

    Vlad is claimed by the Romanians (and they can have him if they really want him).

    The Romanians are indeed nor Russians – indeed they are not even Slavs.

    They really do seem to be (by the language and by their looks) just what they claim to be – survivors of the various types of people who came to this place after it was made part of the Roman empire (what percentage of the population are pre Roman is a contested point, but it seems to be unusually low).

    How they managed to survive I do not know. After all Dacia (as Romania was then called) was the first part of the Roman world to fall, and many armed peoples have passed through it and ruled it.

    As for Mr B.

    He insists that he was not talking about violent revolution. Indeed it is hard to see how such a revolution would be possible.

    Normally only weaklings like poor Nicky II of Russia or Louis XVI of France get overturned by revolutions.

    Hard men like Louis XIV of France, or Nickolas I of Russia (or Putin) do not tend to get overturned by revolutions.

    There have been a few cases of hard men being overturned by popular uprisings – but such cases are very rare, it would be folly to count on such a thing.

    This rather applies to Iran as well.

    Overturning a man dying of cancer who put devout trust in an external power (the United States) which (by order of President Carter) betrayed him. Is a rather different thing from overturning a regime (not just the demented President – but the Supreme Leader, Council of Guardians and the rest of them) who are very tough, very nasty men indeed.

    For all their claims of believe in God they put their trust in force and fear.

    Although they could say “the Lord helps those who help themselves”.

    “But most people oppose them” – even if that is true, it is not relevant. Contrary to David Hume, public opinion is not what governments rest on.

  • Under Yeltsin (for all his Western advised mistakes on high tax rates and a big credit money bubble – and his worse mistake of entrusting Mr Putin with a powerful position), there was trial by jury (real trial by jury – not trials when the verdict is decided in advance), and many newspapers, and radio and television stations that were critical of the government.

    This is true, but life in Russia is far, far better now than it was under Yeltsin. In endorsing Putin, Russians effectively surrendered a degree of liberty and political freedom in return for a stable economy and a better standard of living. For the large part, Russians are thus far happy with the trade-off.

  • jb

    The South Park article above is really about Russia. I still remember the way the atmosphere in the country changed overnight when Putin came to power. There was a sense of joy expressed in so many words by various people on TV (which was not so under control then) as “Finally, someone to tell us what to do!” Russians will never forgive Yeltsin for leaving them to themselves for a few years. They demonstrated that they are not capable of making decisions for themselves or being constructive.

    Once, in Yeltsin’s time I saw a meeting between Russian directors and the minister of culture on the news. The directors were all there begging for state support to give them back their audience, one said “You must tell us what to do, you are the minister of culture, you are as a father to us, tell us what to do!”

    The vast majority of Russians are like that, that is why they are happy with Putin. I wouldn’t be surprised if outbreaks of mass hysteria occur over the next 18 months as people are unable to deal with the idea of Putin stepping down.

  • Paul Marks

    Many Russians have achieved great things, they are not subhumans who must be told what to do all the time.

    Also the ability to make choices can not grow when people are not allowed to make choices. Civil society (including the social insititutions needed to help the poor) can only grow in conditions of freedom.

    As for material standards of life.

    I never said I was in favour of high tax rates, or a credit money bubble. These were the factors that led to economic crises in the Yeltsin years – they have nothing to do with trial by jury, or freedom of expression (whether of the press, or broadcasting, or anything else).

    If the line of Putin’s defenders is that one needed to get rid of civil liberties in order to increase prosperity, this line is false.

    For people who deny logical argument and insist that “experience is the only guide” the example of Estonia (just over the border) should be pointed to.

    This land did not introduce “progressive” taxation after the collapse of Marxism, and nor did it go for a vast credit-money bubble. But nor did have state control of the press and the crushing of political liberty.

    Not all is right in Estonia (as the recent nationalization of the railways shows), but its history shows the Putin line is false.

    Next example of missing the point “Estonia is much smaller than Russia”.

    And the next “Estonia has a different culture”.

    Japan after World War II had a population similar in size to the population of Russia now.

    Japan had no “culture of freedom” (far from it).

    And Japan was smashed to bits by the Americans in the war- its economy was in ruins.

    And Japan (unlike Russia – the “treasure house of nations”) had virtually no natural resources.

    All the clever people said that the Japanese would either suffer from mass starvation or (at least) would be dirt poor for ever.

    However, after the Dodge plan of 1948 (which crushed post war credit bubble expansion), Japan followed a policy of low government spending and taxation (some of the lowest in the world till the 1970′s) and strong property rights.

    This (not the M.I.T.I. myth – companies like Honda always had the right to tell M.I.T.I. to go away and they did) produced a great ecominc boom in the 1950′s and 1960′s.

    Without any crushing of civil liberties – indeed quite the reverse. Japan had a far greater level of civil liberties than it had before.

    Just because an anti private property man said “liberty is the mother, not the child, of order” does not mean that it is not true.

  • Paul: I don’t know, I hope you are right. However, jb’s comment reminded me of the hysteria that followed Stalin’s death. People literally wept, saying “What will happen to us now?”, as if their father just died. In fact, it is very similar to a behavior of a child of a very dominant, and abusive, parent, that has just passed away. And yes, Estonians, and Japanese, and Russians are all very different cultures.

  • Michiganny

    Alisa,

    There was an easy answer when people asked “What will happen to us now?”after Stalin’s death: They stopped being killed by Stalin.

    And thank God Marshalls Moskalenko and Zhukov took in Beria on behalf of the other survivors. That set the stage for the reinstituted first-among-equals oligarchy of Lenin (of a sorts) that Stalin was trying so hard to purge in the first place.

    Regarding JB (Tangent Alert), do you have a lick of evidence that abject servility is the majority view in Russia? If that were so, why would Putin have needed to disassemble civil society? Why would he need to imprison Khodorkovsky? If that were the case, there would have been no need. And there would have been no need for the purges of Stalin.

    Stalin reconstituted the Oprichnina of Ivan Grozny because he felt threatened. Yes, he was paranoid, but he was no fool. Why do you think the Ukrainian peasantry wanted to join the Third Reich on its way to Moscow? Why did Stalin deport the Caucasians? Why was he constantly doing in any possible threat to his power?

    Because there was public support and private dissent. Look at the catch words Stalin appropriated during the purges. Dvurushniki was a big one. It meant double-dealers, or those with two faces.

    Putin is taking a page from Stalin the way Stalin took a page from Ivan IV. None of those three would ever be correct to think the average Russian supported him. And a hallmark of all three was intelligence.

    If Putin actually steps down from power at the end of this term, there is hope for Russia. It appears he is grooming leaders, not poodles, to replace him. Yes, they fawn over him, but there is a good chance for a fairly orderly transition of power. It will not reflect the public’s choice, true. But I doubt Putin will follow the syphilitic and the seminarian and die in power as an old man.

  • Michiganny

    Just to clarify, yes, Putin has a lot of support. But I doubt many support the level of oppression he is instituting.

    Oil was US$11/barrel under Yeltsin. Now it is five or seven times that. Wait and see what happens if it goes back down. Support for Putin is really support for the hydrocarbon-induced growth. Negate it, and you will see how much real support he has.

  • Michigany: I was not looking for an answer, as I know the answer all too well. (If you are really interested, you can ask me what happened to my grandfather, that would be part of a typical answer). My point was the fact that the question was even asked, and it was asked even by some people who knew the answer very well. People literally wept over Stalin’s death, and over Lenin’s death as well, BTW. I am not aware of anyone shedding a tear over Khrutshov or Brezhnyev, but they were not made from the same cloth Stalin and Lenin were. I think Putin is. The good thing is the rather unusual possibility that he is not going to die, but rather step down (I’ll believe it when I see it, though). So this is going to be quite interesting to watch.

    BTW, I did not imply servility at all. This is something different, which I find difficult to put into words, although I know what it is. Maybe someone who is not from Russia but knows Russians well can explain it.

  • jb

    Putin has not dismantled civil society in Russia. There was no civil society in Russia. I say this as someone living and working in Russia for the last 15 years, including most of the 90s in various media and “democracy support”projects. Putin’s political enemies have done a remarkably good job of spinning his actions in the press to make seem as if he has, but it’s nonsense. Just like the tales of dismantling democracy.

    Of course there are plenty of Russians who don’t like abject servitude, millions of them have already emigrated, while others are caught in a dilemma – leave for civilization now, or stay in Moscow and milk the high salaries and low taxes a little while longer. The system in place does not require everyone to be abjectly servile, it merely requires a sufficient number of abjectly servile people to make fighting seem futile.

    Putin imprisoned Khodorkovsky because Khodorkovsky was a competing murderous authoritarian thug.

    It is surprising that anyone is surprised by what is happening in Russia, given that everything that is happening was widely and openly discussed by the ruling classes throughout the 90s. People do not believe in democracy and liberalism, they think it does not exist and is a lie and a propaganda trick. The chaos in the 90s just proves it. The Chinese didn’t listen to those cunning Yankee bastards and look how well they did. What we need is one party capitalism.

    My wife remembers her teachers coming into the classroom in tears to announce the death of Brezhnev, and coming home to find her mother crying.

  • My wife remembers her teachers coming into the classroom in tears to announce the death of Brezhnev, and coming home to find her mother crying.

    Wow, I did not know, I left before that. It is even worse than I thought, then. I remember people generally making fun of him, and I doubt Stalin or Lenin were generally made fun of, but maybe someone will correct me yet again:-)

  • Putin has not dismantled civil society in Russia. There was no civil society in Russia.

    I agree. But one will never develop if the likes of Putin just keep giving Russia more of the same.

    Sadly it seems to me that most Russians who realise that just get out and end up in the west (can’t say I blame them) which is great for the west but not so great for Russia. The Ukraine is struggling to break the addition to an infantalising state run by strongmen and they might actually pull it off. Maybe if they can make it work there it might spread east by example. Of course it is by no means clear the Ukraine will pull it off.