Staunton, January 12 – The next wave of protests in Russia’s regions is likely to break out “only at the end of February and the beginning of March, according to an analysis of “Russia’s Regions and Regional Policy at the End of 2016 prepared by the Moscow Agency for Political and Economic Communication.
The report, available online at apecom.ru/articles/?ELEMENT_ID=3340, notes that the growth of protest activity by Russians beyond the ring road over the last year is now on hold as a result of the long New Year’s holiday, but that the three bases for protest at the end of 2016 are likely to produce more demonstrations in the coming months.
First of all, the report says, Russians are angry about the reduction in social benefits and payments; and because of the budget calendar, they now know what is ahead. In the past, the report notes, people have not protested when the decisions are taken but rather when they are actually put in place.
Second, it says, Russians in the regions are upset about rising housing costs and the decaying state of infrastructure generally. Again, many of the upticks in cost and reporting about deterioration have come at the end of the year; but any protests about them are likely to arise in the weeks after they actually take effect.
And third, the report continues, forthcoming protests are likely to build on the infrastructure of organizations and groups which have already led protests in places like Astrakhan, Tyumen, Yaroslavl, and Novosibirsk, making those cities among the most likely to see new demonstrations in a month’s time.