Two recent polls will be jolting for the jabbering sycophants of Aleksei Navalny. In one, by Levada, Russians overwhelming reject Navalny’s calls for a Duma vote recount, telling pollsters they believe the Duma will do just fine as presently constituted, with no need to change. In a second, by VTsIOM, not one single respondent said s/he would vote for Navalny for president if the election was held this weekend, while Putin’s support inched higher and closer to a majority. His approval level rose higher still. Add to that the spectacular failure of a demonstration in support of opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov, where only a tiny fraction of those who signed up to attend actually appeared on the protest square, and you can clearly see the utter emptiness of the Navalny movement, which is really nothing more than a relatively small personality cult.
On December 26th Russia pundit Masha Gessen published two hilariously dishonest and utterly deranged comments about the Moscow protest movement recently, one on a New York Times blog and one on a blog operated by The Guardian. It’s precisely this kind of gibberish that makes it impossible to take the Moscow protesters seriously. After all, if they’re really so powerful why is it necessary to use so many fantastic lies and so much absurd hyperbole when discussing them.
Kim Zigfeld’s latest column on Pajamas Media exposes the incredible, breathtaking miasma of lies recently promulgated by the mainstream media outlets in regard to the protest activity taking place in Russia this month.
Let’s be clear: The so-called “movement” (1) exists only in Moscow, (2) has no agreed leader or even leadership, (3) has no significant fundraising, (4) has no recognized political party, and (5) wields an agenda that consists of demanding that crazed Communists and rabid Russian nationlists be given (even) more votes instead of United Russia.
Granted, it’s better than nothing, and maybe it’s the best Russians can do. But to write over and over, as the MSM “journalists” have done, that it is going to change anything in Russia is incredibly dishonest and a betrayal of basic journalistic ethics.
Alexander Golts, writing in the Moscow Times:
Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin sent a strong message of support last week to Russia’s leaders through the company’s newspaper Gudok: “On behalf of the entire management of Russian Railways, we support the course of democratic development in Russia, and we consider it impossible not to respond to the unprecedentedly shameless campaign to discredit the Russian state. … The filth that has been poured on the state and its leaders [from various opposition groups] has no connection with democracy. Moreover, it is a direct threat to the sovereignty of our country.”
A letter to the editor of the New York Times:
To the Editor,
The statement by Ellen Barry and Michael Schwirtz (“Vast Rally in Moscow Is a Challenge to Putin’s Power,” December 24) about the recent wave of anti-Putin protests in Moscow that “[i]f the movement sustains its intensity, it could alter the course of the presidential election in March, when Mr. Putin plans to extend his stretch as the country’s dominant figure to an eventual 18 years” is deeply misleading. The writers fail to inform their readers that protest activity in other cities beyond Moscow disappeared almost entirely on Christmas Eve. Less than 5,000 were on the streets of Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg, and almost nobody anywhere else. 0.2% of the population on Moscow streets cannot alter the course of the coming election. Nor can 0.4% or 0.6%. Moreover, in Ukraine we have seen a real popular uprising fizzle and dissipate, so that now its leader Yulia Tymoshenko is rotting in prison. There is far less hope for Russia than these journalists would have us believe.
Kim Zigfeld — Russia columnist, American Thinker and Pajamas Media
This is an activist from the FEMEN organization, protesting recently in Kiev, Ukraine. She was demanding the resignation of the country’s prime minister, a sexist pig who is routinely denying basic civil rights to women. The protesters put the photograph onto the Prime Minister’s Facebook page, and they were manhandled and arrested by his goons. In a similar protest in Belarus, the activists were brutally tortured by the autocratic regime.
The contrast between this activism and the sorry excuse for it taking place in Moscow could not be more extreme. As we previously reported, the Moscow opposition rally has been described like this: “It all felt much more like a national holiday, a festivity. What’s more, not even a ‘festivity of disobedience’, but simply a festivity.” There were no arrests.
Russians, it seems, do not yet even know the real meaning of the word opposition. Their efforts to challenge the neo-Soviet regime of Vladimir Putin are ineffectual, senseless, indeed pathetic. Their actions do not in any way indicate that Russians are willing to take real risks or that they feel any true sense of outrage or urgency. On behalf of the Russian people, we are ashamed.
As Vladimir Putin’s job approval rating dropped to its lowest level all year, barely above a majority, RIA Novosti reported that Russia’s population is doing likewise, plummeting out of sight. The stock market and the ruble are following suit.
And how did Putin respond? Here’s how:
Mr McCain fought in Vietnam. I think that he has enough blood of peaceful citizens on his hands. It must be impossible for him to live without these disgusting scenes anymore. Mr McCain was captured and they kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years. Anyone [in his place] would go nuts.
Putin’s frenzied, crazed diatribe (issued on national television) was in response to a Tweet from McCain which read: “Dear Vlad, The Arab Spring is coming to a neighbourhood near you.”
Like a typical neo-Soviet goon, Putin is attempting to conceal his own horrific policy failures and plunging public support by lashing out at any foreigner who comes into his gun sights. These glimpses into what is really going on in the “mind” of the man who has his finger on Russia’s nuclear button are genuinely terrifying, but not less so than the policy failures themselves.
In one of the saddest commentaries yet on the so-called protest “movement,” poll results reported by RIA Novosti show that the “protesters” vastly prefer celebrity leaders like Leonid Parfenov, Boris Akunin and Yuri Shevchuk to political leaders like Vladimir Ryzhkov, Boris Nemtsov and Ilya Yashin. And not by a small margin, but by a factor of ten. Aleksei Navalny takes second place to Parfenov, a man who has boldly declared: “I am a professional journalist, not a professional revolutionary. My job is to report, not to climb the barricades.” Navalny, of course, has likewise never said he would be a candidate for office.
In other words, the man who the protesters want to lead them doesn’t want the job. The D&G-rocking, iPhone-toting “protesters” want to be led by celebrity figures and be “cool,” not by political leaders and be successful. This is, of course, fully in line with our prior report which quoted one protester as observing: ”It all felt much more like a national holiday, a festivity. What’s more, not even a ‘festivity of disobedience’, but simply a festivity.” These folks are simply not serious, not worthy of respect, and no more a credible force for change in Russian politics than the yahoos of Occupy Wall Street. In fact, OWS is far more potent and effective, which is pretty brutal condemnation of the Russian forces.
Over on Pajamas Media, Kim Zigfeld lays waste to the notion that Mikhail Prokhorov might be Russia’s salvation. Our advice to Russians: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME!
“It all felt much more like a national holiday, a festivity. What’s more, not even a ‘festivity of disobedience’, but simply a festivity.”
That’s what one participant in the 12/10 Moscow rally had to say about his experience.
Is a party with balloons and flowers really going to dislodge Vladimir Putin from power, or even make him think twice? Kim Zigfeld sure doesn’t think so.