Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Moscow Commentators Know ‘Practically Nothing’ about What’s Happening Beyond the Ring Road, Shlosberrg Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 11 – Much-cited Moscow commentators know “practically nothing” about what is happening in Russia’s regions, and the capital’s democratic politicians appear to have forgotten the regions and republics in their plans for upcoming elections, according to Lev Shlosberg, a deputy in the Pskov Oblast Assembly of Deputies.

            Their ignorance leads to articles based on nothing but rumors or falsehoods spread by the authorities, Shlosberg continues. That is bad enough, but it has had the additional unfortunate consequence of leading Moscow’s democratic politicians to support the wrong people as candidates in the regions (

                And that in turn often means that the democrats in Moscow are working against democracy in Russia and in what turns out to be a kind of unspoken alliance with those in the regime who do not want democracy to spread, he continues. If they really understood what was going on, they could help; as it is, they often get in the way.   

            “Democrats in Russia have forgotten what elections are for, especially elections for the heads of executive power. They are intended for only one thing – to pick a winner. Instead, democrats compete among themselves” over who can attract the most attention. “We [in the regions] keep out focus on achieving a breakthrough to the second round of voting.”

            Shlosberg continues: “Never confuse information from Moscow parties bout regional political life with what is in fact taking place in the regions. Unfortunately, the traditions of political regional studies in Russia have in practice been destroyed; there is no normal regional network of experts.”

                “Moscow commentators know practically nothing about what is occurring in the regions and rely instead on rumors, slanders, and simple lies to compose their assessments and predictions,” the regional politician and commentator says.

            “If we would need to consider the issue about putting forward a candidate who could win or a candidate who could gain the attention of federal media, we all the same would put forward a candidate who could win elections.” Because that is what elections are all about, all “the lamentations” of the democrats notwithstanding.

            Their “wining” needs to stop now, Shlosberg says. “The federal democratic press is bringing with this great harm to the democratic movement.  But the democratic politicians themselves bear colossal responsibility for taking part in elections without the goal of winning” and thus making the prospects of the democratic movement even worse.

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