Staunton, February 3 – Just how fearful Moscow is that a linkup of opposition deputies and the population could spark demonstrations or even a Russian “Maidan” is reflected in a new drive to regulate all such contacts by declaring them meetings that must be cleared with senior officials in advance.
Such fears were first on display in St. Petersburg when pro-government deputies alarmed by the meeting of opposition ones with those protesting plans to hand over St. Isaac’s to the Orthodox Church that they demanded these contacts be classified as meetings and thus regulated. (See windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2017/02/could-st-isaacs-dispute-spark-maidan.html.)
Now some United Russia deputies in the Duma have proposed extending this idea by law to all deputies at all levels throughout the country, opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov says, citing the draft law (echo.msk.ru/blog/dgudkov/1921588-echo/ and asozd2.duma.gov.ru/main.nsf/%28Spravka%29?OpenAgent&RN=92912-7).
“If one reads the document, it is clear,” Gudkov continues, that its authors “don’t even try to hide with a fig leaf of justification their fear of the people.” Such a government may hold on by increasing repression or whipping up patriotic sentiment through the launch of a new or expanded war, but it is obvious that it is in trouble and that it knows that too.