Sunday, March 21, 2010

Russia's Dies Irae

Passion Sunday


The Russian states are seeing more of what China has been dealing with for the past few decades: numerous small protests and riots across the country --
from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok -- in opposition to the central government's heavy-handed micromanagement and the consequent decline in living conditions, climbing unemployment, and devaluation of currency.

Like the communist rulers in China, Putin's United Russia party is attempting to neutralize these Day of Wrath protests by glossing the nation's problems and directing sentiment along nationalist lines: "It's us against the world, my little droogies."

And of course, if the little droogies get out of line, there's always the
Putin Plunge to remind them that some of the animals are more equal than others.

Day of Judgment by Hans Memling

Statements from the Article
"We want the government to start treating us like people, not like slaves."
- Kirill, 22-year-old student

"The general public in the regions is beginning to recognise that it is Putin who is actually to blame for various troubles they have – increased cost of living, communal tariffs, taxes and no growth in real wages."
- Vladimir Milov, co-leader of Solidarity

"Our people, especially the youth, travel more to Europe than to Russia. There's no reason to go there."
- Konstantin Polyakov, deputy head of the regional parliament (Duma) and member of the ruling United Russia party

"The leadership is scared...I have been saying the Kaliningrad region is an indicator – in nine months, it will be all over Russia."
- Solomon Ginzburg, an independent deputy in the regional Duma

1 comment:

Mary said...

Well this should make the next Olympics more interesting!
I took a visiting Russian prof in 1991 for an hour car ride to a cool American Indian Museum and we really talked. He was proud some of his students owned sewing machines...and they had power to run them 3 to 4 times a week! He was amazed by the yellow school bus on the country road ('That really is true, they educate everyone!'). The US students were horrified at his low tech talk, (transparancies?) and his lack of ability with a laser pointer. People were ducking in the audience and shielding their eyes as he left the pointer on and swung his hand about! He was a brilliant man who deserved better resources.