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WHITE REVOLUTION. Russian society divided

Publication time: 8 May 2012, 16:07

British paper The Independent owned by a Russian crook and thief, anti-putinist KGB (FSB) general Lebedev reported in its latest issue about another coronation of Putin, illegitimate "president of Russia", and also about demonstrations and arrests accompanying it in the center of Moscow.

The Independent writes that the Russian state-run television augmented footage of the ceremony with stories about the history of Kremlin churches, the persons who were present at the ceremony, and much more. But no mention was made about the arrests that were going on at the same time, or about dozens of thousands of people who had come out to protest the previous day.

Simultaneously, on the small independent Russian channel TV "Rain", correspondents filed live reports from Moscow's Boulevard Ring where Putin's riot police arrested people in the background, and commentators spoke of the city being "under the occupation".

The varying tone of the coverage was a sign of just how divided Russia has become, even as illegitimate Putin spoke of the need for unity.

It is hard not to wonder whether Putin is aware of what is going on in his capital. Whereas Medvedev was an internet user, Putin does not venture online, and presumably relies on reports from his subordinates.

"He has in the past said the protesters are paid by the US State Department, and has spoken of a battle for Russia", recalls the Lebedev's newspaper.

While there are certainly many unsavory elements to the protest movement - the nationalists, anarchists and other radicals - the Sunday's protest included mainly peopled from middle-class Russians who are tired of living in a system they feel gives them no voice.

If Putin really does believe that the opposition is not borne of a disgruntled middle class but is instead part of a nefarious Western plot to destabilize Russia, Russian authorities could well take a harder line against the protest movement.

Sunday was also the first time that Muscovites have resisted the Putin's riot police and fought back en masse. Russia is nowhere near a Libya or Syria scenario, but as both sides harden their stances, turbulent times could well be ahead for the KGB junta.

So Russia is dangerous for any Western investment, and it is hard time now to remove all the money which has been previously invested into this country.

Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center



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