Staunton, April 3 – As Grigory Yavelinsky and Boris Vishnevsky have pointed out, what many called Russia’s presidential election was in fact a plebiscite of the kind Charles Louis Napoleon pulled off in 1851. Only now, Russian commentator Yevgeny Ikhlov argues, “are the real elections beginning.”
The events in Volokolamsk and Kemerovo have made it impossible for Russia to remain under the sway of images of new rockets and flights to Mars, Ikhlov says. “All immediately now say: first, provide fire protection and decent trash processing and then make your cosmic torpedoes and explore deep space” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5AC240709BBD2).
New charges and arrests among the prominent show that “a new round of elite purges” are beginning analogous to “the Leningrad affair of 70 years ago.” Ordinary people are taking to the streets spontaneously, and any possibility that PR can contain the situation no longer exists. Now, both the regime and its opponents are locked in a struggle for real results.
All this provides evidence that the opposition is right when it speaks about “the fatal nature of preserving the inert scenario of development.” What has occurred in the last six months was only the prelude to a real struggle and in its way “a real election” that will decide the future of Russia in ways the voting on March 18 did not.