Monday, April 2, 2018

‘Putin: We Don’t Need Your Flowers on Our Graves’ – ‘Good Tsar, Bad Boyars’ Formula Breaking Down

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 2 – Vladimir Putin like his Soviet and tsarist predecessors has long been able to rely on the notion that Russia is a country with “a good tsar” surrounded by “bad boyars,” but the editors of Russky Monitor say that for many Russians, that view no longer dominates their thinking, leading many to blame the Kremlin leader right alongside his local minions.

            That reflects the growing awareness among Russians that all decision-making power is concentrated in the Kremlin and that what officials in the regions and republics are doing is simply what “the tsar” wants rather than reflecting in every case what “the boyars” do (

            The mass meeting in Volokolamsk which took place after the leaders had been arrested indicates that “the potential energy of dissatisfaction among Russians is now very high” and that ever more of them “see the source of their problems not only in the governor … but also in Putin,” as the protest slogan in the title above indicates. 

            Some observers, the news site continued, say that the principle of “good tsar, bad boyars’ is collapsing before our eyes. The authorities understand that” blocking the meeting even after arresting its leaders and preventing others from coming in will only make that trend more significant.

            “Under conditions of intensifying economic and infrastructure crisis in the country, such incidents will occur ever more often. And the central authorities, despite using all available propaganda resources at full power” won’t be able to restore the old formula. In its absence, Russian life will change radically.

            Russky monitor doesn’t say, but the regional news agency Federal Press does, that the possibility of trash protests exists in and around every Russian city ( Consequently, what is on view in Volokolamsk today could easily be seen in many places tomorrow regardless of what the Kremlin does.

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