Friday, November 11, 2022

Kremlin Now Confronted by Two New Kinds of Protest, Mikhaylichenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 8 – Both by its repressive moves and its allowing many opposed to its policies to emigrate, the Kremlin has largely eliminated traditional forms of protest against its policies and itself. But according to Dmitry Mikhaylichenko, the authorities now face two new kinds of protest that represent challenges it is uncertain how to handle.

            On the one hand, the head of the Ufa Institute of Regional Expertise says, there are ever more cases in which the newly mobilized and their families are complaining about conditions, promises, and losses, a kind of opposition that the Kremlin has created for itself but does not know how to respond to (

            And on the other, the Kremlin’s actions have led portions of society to adopt “unconventional and aggressive forms of protest” such as the firebombing of military commissariats. “If the authorities continue to put pressure on society and do not leave it alone, there is a significant chance that such unconventional actions will become more frequent.”

            That is starting to create “difficulties of a different order” altogether.

            After bursts of protests following the February 24 announcement of the special military operation and the September one of partial mobilization, the situation has quieted down with few protests of the normal kind taking place in October. And anti-government feelings aren’t being captured by pollsters who most Russians view as agents of the state and aren’t honest with.

            As a result, the authorities currently feel that they have the situation well in hand, but the two new kinds of protests are a reminder that new bases for protest can emerge and that some of these may lead to more radical actions than just demonstrations and marches that now are increasingly rare and may well remain so for some time.   

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