Staunton, May 8 – Anti-regime internet posts, hacking of official channels with anti-war messages, draft resistance and many other actions by the Russian people point to the emergence of an anti-Kremlin underground that as it increases in scale will represent a threat to the existing political system, Anatoly Nesmiyan who blogs under the screen name El Murid says.
(For a survey of the various activities Nesmiyan is pointing to, none of which has inflicted a fatal wound but which collectively are becoming increasingly serious, see my discussion of the new anti-war underground in Russia at jamestown.org/program/an-anti-war-underground-emerges-in-russia/.)
During the pandemic, El Murid says, Russians fought “against the criminal policies of the regime via ‘Italian strikes,’ pretending to follow instructions but in fact not fulfilling them as far as possible.” Now, with Putin’s war in Ukraine, they have taken this approach to a new level with increasingly conscious actions (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=627ACCF216FFB).
During World War II, “prisoners organized acts of sabotage by engaging in poor quality work,” he continues. Now, “in many ways,” they are acting in a similar way. The powers that be will respond to specific actions but there are too many people involved for them to stamp everything out.
“It is impossible” for the regime to control everyone, especially because “the Russian people hate fascism in any form,” including its current Russian variant. To be sure, many have been deceived by Putin; but ever more Russians are aware of what is going on and taking steps in response.
Some are leaving the country; but not everyone can leave and those who object to what is going on are engaged in what can only be called “sabotage,” El Murid says. So far, all this is “unorganized and not that serious in each case. But “the problem is one of scale. If sabotage becomes widespread, that will represent another systemic risk for the regime.”
“Sooner or later, there will be some straw that will break the back of the regime.”
The Kremlin can be counted on to blame this trend on external enemies who have found domestic accomplices. But that is nonsense: Russians “really do understand what kind of regime is ruling their country now and react to it accordingly. They haven’t yet formed partisan units, but a spontaneous underground is being formed and nothing can be done to stop it.”