Staunton, February 16 – Given how bad things have become for ordinary Russians, many are wondering what might finally push them to take part in mass street demonstrations against the Putin regime. Two developments, increasing repression at home and the Kremlin leader’s profligate spending on military adventures abroad, may lead to a tipping point.
One consequence of increasing repression is that ever more people may conclude, as did one participant in the March of Mother’s Anger, that “if today I keep quiet, tomorrow each of us may end up in the same place” as those now being mistreated by the authorities (activist.msk.ru/2019/02/ya-ponyala-esli-seychas-smolchat-zavtra-okazhemsa-na-meste-shevchenko.html).
And another arising from Putin’s willingness to spend enormous sums on foreign adventures while back at home is that ever more Russians are saying that he should “stop spending billions on the war in Ukraine and Syria and turn his attention to us” (censoru.net/33436-rossijane-putinu-hvatit-tratit-milliardy-na-vojnu-s-ukrainoj-i-siriej-obratite-vnimanie-na-nas.html).
This trend may be even more important in getting people to take to the streets because some who feel that way are animated only by social concerns while others are affected by the patriotism that Putin says he supports but that in fact he is doing little to support.
As Censoru.net puts it, “everyone remembers” that the Soviet Union spent enormous sums abroad even as it ignored economic and social problems at home. “For the USSR,” the portal notes, “this situation ended in collapse. And there is hardly an alternative way out” for Putin’s Russia now unless it changes course.
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