EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Kremlin Sees Peril in Arab Unrest

Posted by Info on 25/02/2011

Arab world were instigated by outside forces that were also scheming to topple the authorities in Russia.
“Let’s face the truth. They have been preparing such a scenario for us, and now they will try even harder to implement it,” Medvedev said at a meeting with the country’s top security officials.

Medvedev would not identify whom he meant by “they,” but the finger-pointing brings back memories of the Kremlin’s jittery reaction to popular uprisings that toppled entrenched regimes in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan in the 2000s. At the time, then-President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials publicly accused the West of meddling. Moscow had wielded strong influence in those former Soviet republics.

The radical Russian opposition has started speaking of the possibility of regime change patterned after the popular uprisings that ousted longtime leaders in Tunisia , Egypt and large street protests against the rulers of Libya and, to a lesser extent, Bahrain, Iran and Yemen.

Much of the Russian discussion has taken place on social media web sites like LiveJournal and Facebook, while Facebook and Twitter are believed to have served as a powerful mobilizing tool for protesters.

While social media is popular in Russia, the likelihood of an uprising similar to those in Egypt and Tunisia is next to impossible because of an absence of a widely shared ideological platform for a protest. The reason is because the Russian Orthodox Church is closely aligned with the secular authorities, Putin’s government conducts social policies that effectively pacify the impoverished, and the remaining fragments of the political opposition are scarce, divided and not supported by a meaningful proportion of the population.

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