Monday, October 17, 2022

‘We Can’t Stop Kremlin but We Mustn’t Stop Protesting,’ Russian Activist Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 8 – Many Russians who don’t support Putin’s war in Ukraine give as the reason they haven’t taken to protest that any such actions won’t lead to an end of the war, but a leading Russian woman activist says that even if activism now can’t achieve that end, it serves as “a seedbed” for a better society in the future.

            Natalya Baranova, a leader of the Social Technologies Greenhouse organization who has been forced to emigrate, concedes that neither she nor others by their current actions against the war are likely to force Putin to end his aggression there (

            But she says that organizing protests and taking part in them, even if they are dismissed by some as ineffective, are critically important in giving Russians a sense of efficacy and helping them acquire the political skills needed for the country to develop a vibrant civil society and move beyond the Putinist autocracy.

            Women can play a special role in this, Baranova says, pointing to the arguments of Belarusian activist, Olga Shparaga, that “the revolution there has a woman’s face” and suggesting that this can be true in Russia as well. Indeed, women have taken the lead in Russia in protesting Putin’s war, and they continue to dominate that landscape.

              On such activism in Russia, see, and

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