Staunton, May 29 – By treating all criticism of the regime as legally-punishable “extremism,” the Kremlin is acting against its own best interests by leading members of “the deep people” who have supported it but who are now angry to ally themselves with the liberals under the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend, Abbas Gallyamov says.
“Dissatisfaction with the situation in the country is now growing not only in the liberal milieu, against which serious repressions are being directed,” the Moscow commentator says. “Protest attitudes are intensifying in the ranks of “the deep people” as well (echo.msk.ru/blog/gallyamov_a/2845996-echo/).
Such feelings are not yet as broad or intensely held, but repressing liberals who feel the same way as some in the deep people, Gallyamov suggests, is leading them to look at the liberals rather than the government as the ally of that part of the population, exactly the wrong conclusion in an election season as far as the Kremlin is concerned.
“What is taking place,” the former Putin speechwriter continues, “is leading not simply to the growth of negative attitudes but also to the politicization of the formerly apolitical groups of the population.” And as the deep people become politicized, they have no option but to line up on the side of the liberals.”
The deep people do not have their own political language and “therefore they have to borrow it; and they are borrowing it from the liberal activists. In this way, Gallyamov says, “’popular’ protest is uniting with liberal protest.”
Up to now, for the deep people, this new combination lacks a leader who speaks for both and thus remains unfocused. “But this means only that it will not break through [too quickly] to the surface but will build up,” much like a boiler with the lid on sitting on a fire, Gallyamov concludes.