Sunday, January 16, 2022

QR Code Protests Grow But Focus on Putin Rather than Regional Heads, Scholars Say

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 26 – Scholars have focused on two aspects of Russian protests against QR codes that have been introduced as part of the struggle against the pandemic: on their changing number and kind and on the focus of their complaints (

            Anthropologist Aleksandra Akhipova reports that there have been 144 anti-QR code actions in the first 11 months of 2021, with more than 80 percent of them taking place in November. She also says that they have been transformed from meetings with officials to pickets, to mass protests to blocking of public space, a sign of their radicalization.

            And political scientist Roman Alekhin notes that the protests have directed their fire at Putin who has tried to avoid bearing any responsibility for covid restrictions rather than at the regional heads who have actually made the decisions, an indication that for most Russians only the Kremlin leader and not the governors is relevant as far as they are concerned.

            That suggests that Putin’s effort to avoid responsibility in this area has failed and that Russians will blame him or at least assume he is the only one who can do anything about their complaints which from a political point of view is much the same thing.

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