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Breathless Idiots Gasp over Russia

If Saturday’s protest is as large as its organizers expect — the city has granted a permit for 30,000 — Mr. Navalny will be credited for mobilizing a generation of young Russians through social media, a leap much like the one that spawned Occupy Wall Street and youth uprisings across Europe this year.

That was what New York Times reporter Ellen Barry had to say about Aleksei Navalny and the “protest movement” allegedly sweeping Russia, ending in a massive demonstration in Moscow.  She didn’t care to speculate about Mr. Navalny’s fate in the event no such protest occurred.  She did not care to mention that the Western protests were not based on any cult of personality, or that they were long-lived and truly national in scope.  She may not have known that even as her crazy diatribe was going live, the first of the “waves of protest” that organizers were predicting was breaking in Russia’s Far East.

200 people showed up in Vladivostok.

The sole basis for suggesting that 30,000 might come to the streets in Moscow was that a number like that had signed on to a Facebook page calling for participation in the Moscow rally.  And the breathless Barry could not even wait to see if they showed up before anointing Navalny as an epic, earth-shaking hero. Slow news day over at the Gray Lady, you think?

Even if 30,000 people did show up, that’s in a city of 15 million.  It’s o.02% of the population.  It’s only more evidence that the vast majority of Russians will continue to sit on the sidelines, doing nothing as Putin consolidates his neo-Soviet dictatorship. Exactly the same behavior they showed during the time of Stalin.

And what would they be protesting, exactly, if they all came out into the streets? The fact that hundreds of thousands of votes were stolen from the Communist Party, which should have taken at least a quarter of the total vote?  The fact that two Kremlin sycophants, Just Russia and LDPR, should have gotten lots more votes too?  Is that really a basis for breathless, gushing excitement over Russia’s future?

We’ve seen some utterly idiotic reporting on Russia in our time, but the coverage of the aftermath of the elections to the Russian Duma is truly unhinged even by those standards.    Russians totally ignored Putin’s vicious crackdown on opposition parties, and turned a blind eye while Kasyanov, Nemtsov, Ryzhkov, Kasparov, Alexeeva and others were barred from offering alternatives to Putin’s dictatorship. They did not demand any serious debates, nor did they even demand any role in United Russia’s nominating process.  Only when the sham election had been completed did they decide to raise a very small, insignificant, meaningless squeak of protest, and only in response to the cult of personality being developed by hardcore nationalist Aleksei Navalny.

This isn’t a sign of hope for Russia. It’s a sign of the beginning of the end. And with reporting this ignorant in the so-called “enlightened” West, Russia can hardly have any hope of assistance from abroad in its time of desperate need.

6 responses to “Breathless Idiots Gasp over Russia

  1. Well, yes, I tend to agree with some of this.

    But, you know, Ellen has covered Moscow at least since the 1991 coup, with CNN, so she’s not stupid. She could be right.

    And the OWS protests aren’t the long-lived thing you claim — there are like a few hundred left or so in NYC.

    I agree about the overstating of the Internet People showing up tomorrow, and Navalny:

    http://3dblogger.typepad.com/minding_russia/2011/12/i-dont-have-a-good-feeling-about-tomorrows-demonstration-in-moscow.html

    But we could be proved wrong, sometimes things can snowball. I remember seeing Democratic Russia marches quarter of a million strong in the 1990s.

    I’m going to be watching to see what the courtyard babushki say tomorrow.

    • mccusa ⋅

      I would like to know for instance, if anybody bothered to vote in the ‘Russian Republic of Tatarstan’ as the russians called a de facto independent state of Tatarstan, governed by moderate muslims with orthodox, catholic and buddist minorities. Although nobody noticed that russian duma abolished the institution of presidents in EVERY republic still under russia’s control; the fact is that putin’s obssession to rebuild and restore the good old soviet union is being implemented in front of our eyes. For putin there is no price too high to achieve it. Of course, in order to run ‘smoothly’ the new barbaric soviet mental hospital putin wil simply reopen the gulags – the only infrastructure that works in russia and Russians, of course, will march their without any resistance; in the name of the russian/soviet empire….Let’s wait and watch the upcoming attractions – the slaughter house called russia……

    • mcc ⋅

      You seem to miss the vital point of the recent russian history. Russian/Soviet empire is desintegrating; it started with the assent of Solidarity in Poland and never stopped. It is simply russias’ t turn. All peripherial wars, internal unrests – it is, in reality a low grate civil war that is brewing all over the ’empire’. The fact that russian government keeps slaughtering the whole muslim nations of Norther Caucasus, European Russia, and Central Asia, doesn’t kill the aspiration of independence, freedom, and democracy. There is one country, under russian control; Republic of Tatarstan, which russian called ‘Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan. De facto independent state ruled by moderate muslim majority, with minorities including orthodox, catholics, buddists, etc. Tatarstan, sooner or later WILL BECOME AN INDEPENDENT STATE. I hope that you realize it. By the way, I hope that the world see Russia’s perfidy, while ‘fighting for the independent Palestine, they destroying in the most barbaric ways Palestine’s muslim brothers enslaved by Russia.

  2. Well it was not 30,000 protesters, it was 50,000

    There is liquid water at minus 5 degrees, then instantly it all go solid. It’s called supercooled water.

    Maybe the Russians are superdisgusted at Vlad Stalinovitch and the the viscous piece of slime may find himself swinging from a lamp post.

    Not so long ago, all the communists had that fear, that’s why the soviet obscenity collapsed so fast…

  3. Pingback: More Spectacular Misreporting on Russia by Ellen Barry of the New York Times « Dying Russia

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