Staunton, July 11 – One of the basic axioms of most commentators on Russian society is that the Russians may be capable of heroic actions on occasion but they cannot sustain them, preferring instead to retreat into the torpor from which they have been roused by events. That assumption governs the expectations of many about Russian protests.
But in recent years, first in the Shiyes protests over the possible construction of a dump in the North for a Moscow dump and now even more in protests in Khabarovsk over the dismissal of Sergey Furgal, those assumptions have been challenged, with both actions lasting not for days but months.
Today, the people of Khabarovsk marked the first anniversary of their actions by continuing their protests even though Furgal is confined to a Moscow prison and the Kremlin has made it clear that it will not give in to the protesters’ demands for his return and for local control over elections.
Such sustained action, however, is a measure of their anger and commitment and is perhaps even more important as a sign that Russians are now prepared to take to the streets for long periods to protest Kremlin actions they object to. Moreover, what the Khabarovsk residents are doing is likely to encourage and even inspire Russians elsewhere.
For discussions of where the protesters are now and the resonance of their actions in the Russian political system, see sibreal.org/a/progolosuem-za-taburetku-lish-bu-ne-za-degtyareva-v-godovshinu-aresta-furgala/31352754.html, trtrussian.com/magazine/nash-ivanych-habarovsk-podderzhivaet-furgala-dazhe-spustya-god-posle-aresta-6044997lr.7x7-journal.ru/advokaty-furgala/dailystorm.ru/news/zhirinovskiy-prodolzhaet-podderzhivat-furgala-v-ldpr-rasskazali-o-pomoshchi-eks-gubernatoru-v-godovshchinu-ego-aresta.