Staunton, April 23 – Masked members of Putin’s National Guard on Friday broke into the home of Ivan Prokhodtsev, an entrepreneur who has organized protests against the Birobidzhan authorities, and then engaged in fistfights with some of his employees who came to his defense after the guard shuttered their factory.
Not surprisingly, the authorities in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast have charged Prokhodtsev with fraud and charged those who came to defense with violating the orders of the police, but reports from the scene, thousands of kilometers from Moscow, suggest that what happened there could be described as a police riot.
At the very least, it shows what the National Guard thinks it can get away with if it is acting outside of Moscow. And that in turn highlights the growing importance of the Internet and especially regional Internet outlets in exposing what the powers that be are doing given that government media in Moscow won’t mention such incidents or will distort them.
In this case, the very best report is from the Far East News portal, which described the incident under the following title “Mass Disorders in Birobidzhan Caused by the Armed ‘Seizure of Entrepreneur Ivan Prokhodtsev” (dvnovosti.ru/eao/2017/04/21/65346/). Moscow outlets that have reported this have clearly relied on that source (echo.msk.ru/news/1968352-echo.html and