The number of protests in Russia is growing
The news feeds of Russian news agencies are full of the same topics: coronavirus, Putin, the war in Syria, Putin, Turkey, Ukraine and Putin. Events in Russia itself affecting the real life of the population are reluctantly covered. Meanwhile, in the country since last year there has been a continuous increase in protests. According to the Center for Social and Labor Rights (CSTP), over 1,400 protests took place in the country in the first 9 months of 2019. A characteristic fact: at the weekend alone, protests took place on various social occasions in Krasnoyarsk, Chita, Belgorod, Krasnoufimsk and other localities.
In Krasnoyarsk, the demonstration was accompanied by demands to improve the environmental situation in the city, as well as to supply gas to residential buildings. The latter topic became the main one for the rally in Chita; local residents, desperate to wait for support from the regional authorities, put forward the idea of contacting Xi Jinping, the leader of neighboring China, with a request to lay a gas pipe in Transbaikalia. “Let them put a pipe here from Manchuria, and we will buy our own gas extra price,” Roman Berg quoted the appeal of the residents. In Belgorod, a rally was held against the self-government actions of one management company, which, according to local residents, arbitrarily increases utility tariffs and falsifies the results of meetings of owners. In Moscow, a rally of teachers was held, demanding to stop the “optimization” of education in the capital and dismiss Isaac Kalina, head of the education department of the Moscow government. A large demonstration was held in Krasnoufimsk (Sverdlovsk Region) against the construction of a garbage sorting center near the city. In the same region, in the village of Malyshevo, a rally took place against the placement of a solid waste landfill…
The increase in the number of protests and the number of participants shows that a continuous deterioration in life is pushing Russians to openly express their discontent. However, many workers are still under the illusion that the rallies themselves will prompt officials to “hear” the voice of the people. From their own experience they will have to make sure that in most cases the government respects only power.