Those are two of the clearest ways to send a vote of no confidence in the Putin regime and to protect Russians if not their government or even in the short term at least their country from the increasingly hard times which lie ahead, without putting those who take them at risk of repressive reprisals by the authorities.
“However economically justified the decision to increase retirement ages may have been, one cannot consider it anything other than a violation of that ‘social contract,’ which had existed between the people and the powers that be,” Inozemtsev says. In fact, this decision hits hardest at the group most loyal to the regime.
That includes those who have reached 55 or 60 and who are anticipating living on pensions. Most of these people do not have good jobs now; and almost all of them will face serious difficulties in finding new jobs if that becomes necessary as the powers raise the retirement age.
Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that boosting the retirement age is only one of the things the powers that be have done to attack this cohort: “over the last four years, the Kremlin has practically completely demolished the most essential element of the Russian system of social security.”
“However,” Inozemtsev says, “one must give our powers their due: they know well their people, which is interested in staying glued to the television and watching young millionaires run around a field, and their opposition which is occupied today with nominating candidates for deputies, mayors and governors … and not reacting in any way to what is taking place.”
But “when the championship is over” and the election campaigns end, Rusisans are going to have to reflect on “what has happened this summer.” And in Inozemtsev’s opinion, there can be “only one conclusion: In Russia, there are no communists and liberals … there is only the powers that be” who see it as their right to rob the population blind.
Any thinking person should react to this situation with distrust. Most Russians are going to be “too cowardly” to get involved in active protests or even to vote against the incumbents in the privacy of the voting booth. But that doesn’t mean they can’t issue a vote of no confidence in the regime.