The third Russian revolution

December 12th, 2011 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an investigation into allegations of fraud in ’s parliamentary election, one day after tens of thousands of protesters demanded it be annulled and rerun.

Medvedev responded on his Facebook site to the protesters’ complaints that the December 4 election was slanted to favour of his and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, but did not mention their calls for an end to Putin’s rule.

“I do not agree with any slogans or statements made at the rallies. Nevertheless, instructions have been given by me to check all information from polling stations regarding compliance with the legislation on elections,” Medvedev said in a post on the social media site.

“Citizens of Russia have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. People have a right to express the position that they did yesterday. It all took place within the framework of the law,” he added.

His statement was a sign that the Russian leadership feels under pressure after the biggest opposition protests since Putin rose to power in 1999. The protesters themselves used social media to organise their rallies.

In a further sign of recognition that the people’s mood has changed after years of tight political control by Putin, city authorities across Russia allowed Saturday’s protests to go ahead and riot police hardly intervened.

State television and other Russian channels also broadcast footage of a huge protest in Moscow, breaking a policy of showing almost no negative coverage of the authorities.

I do not think the protests will stop Putin becoming President again, and the investigation will probably be a whitewash. However the significance of the protests is that they are occurring, and are being reported on. This is healthy.

These protests, plus the Arab spring, shows how vital it is that the Internet remain out of Government control.

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6 Responses to “The third Russian revolution”

  1. immigant (950 comments) says:

    All we need now is for America to roll in and install a proper democracy!

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  2. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    The tyrant Putin will be impossible to dislodge. The former KGB agent knows how to repress and kill people.

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  3. Andrei (2,652 comments) says:

    All we need now is for America to roll in and install a proper democracy!

    President Bush gives Vladimir Vladimirovich a lesson in democracy

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  4. Griff (7,715 comments) says:

    The Internet is the biggest social change since way before sliced bread

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/world-internet-project-survey-finds-86-new-zealanders-online-aw-106210The survey found that 69% of respondents rated the Internet as an important source of information ahead of television, newspapers, radio and other people, with 40% of Internet users looking up the definition of a word every week and 59% surfing the web daily.

    Keep the politicians and lobbyists away from the change in represents.

    No one has the right to limit our access to the world

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  5. Mark (496 comments) says:

    I think voters in the Arab world getting their first proper democratic vote in deacdes are voting for parties that will see this the last vote they have for generations or that only the right people will be allowed to stand in future elections as per Iran.

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  6. Pharmachick (235 comments) says:

    Commenting on this blog (and maybe, Whale’s) is about as political as I get…

    but I think your statement that “These protests, plus the Arab spring, shows how vital it is that the Internet remain out of Government control.” might actually be the understatement of the year.

    Some of the recent attempts to restrict the internet have horrified me… but then I’m somewhat of a [self confessed] geek/nerd, so I care.

    I believe that the larger task is to ensure that J. Bloggs realizes how much he/she needs to care too.

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