Staunton, August 15 – Not only have demonstrators in Khabarovsk and Minsk exchanged messages of support to each other in recent days (sibreal.org/a/30785025.html), but even more important, people taking to the streets in numerous regions of Siberia and the Far East this weekend are voicing their support for both (sibreal.org/a/30785377.html).
Among the places where such support is being expressed are Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Irkutsk, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. In the words of one participant, “Russians, you don’t have the honor to be Khabarovsk residents; but you do have the obligation to be citizens!”
It is not unprecedented for protesters in Russian regions to speak out in favor of their compatriots in other Russian regions, nor is it unheard of, Moscow assumptions to the contrary, for them to express their views about developments beyond the borders of their country. But speaking about the two together in ways that link them together is unusual.
Such behavior suggests that in Siberia at least, many residents see parallels between what Moscow and Minsk have done in the past and between the response they have generated, a reflection of the growing strength of an increasingly independent-minded Siberian regionalist movement.