There is more than one opposition in Russia

Street Demo in Kazan

The UK progressive-liberal media tells its users that in Russia there is an “opposition”. This ‘opposition to Putin’s regime’ is led by the “politician” Navalny. Many articles on major events in Russia follow the same pattern; a report on the event and a comment from Navalny’s press office. For these people Navalny is “the opposition”. In reality Navalny is a blogger with a strong following amongst rebellious young people. In Russia he is known as “King of the Kids”. But he represents only one constituency.

There are many opposition groups in Russia. For example; for nationalists Putin is too accommodating to the West. If the Communist party, which is the main political opposition in the State Duma, won an election their policies would inevitably lead to Russia withdrawing from the system of global capitalism. On the other side of course there are the extreme liberals represented by political activists such as Pussey Riot and other liberal artists perhaps with a focus in St. Petersburg. One reason for Putin’s success is probably that he sits in the middle. (This shows that he is in fact a skilful politician. He talks about balancing the forces in society).

The images are from a small street demonstration in the main street in Kazan. One reads:

“Renew without conditions the sovereignty of our country in the 1945 borders”.

The other reads “YouTube and Facebook carry on censorship in Russia and  shape social opinion against renewal of the native land, sovereignty of the main state. Why to us on our territory enemy propaganda organisations?”

Before Western propagandists and UK military social media influencers cry “this is a fake operation put out by the FSB” I would comment that when I look at YouTube in Russia in my “feed” I see for example videos about a small miners’ strike in a Siberian region (the kind of material which Radio Free Europe typically uses and exploits), a Deutsche Welt (German State Broadcaster) piece on the demonstrations in Belarus, and indeed the Channel of Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny. I don’t see examples of the kind of demonstration I’ve illustrated here.  Despite having an IP address in Russia I don’t see anything from Russian state TV. It is more than possible that Google is  working with Western intelligence to influence opinion in Russia. Or it could simply reflect the tastes of liberal Western editors at Google. Either way it isn’t unreasonable to be concerned about it.

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer