MOSCOW, January 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
An expert in Russian and Ukrainian politics has claimed that despite the recent protest movement Russia lacks a cohesive and credible opposition
Oleg Bondarenko, director of the Russian-Ukrainian Information Center, has said that the opposition in Russia lack a strong leader.
Bondarenko talks about the recent protests and hopes for the future: "For the 4 February, another demonstration of "For Fair Elections!" is being planned in the capital of Russia. The organizers have received an official rejection for holding a procession through the city center near the Kremlin from the Mayor of Moscow, but are hoping to go through with it anyway.
"Some experts compare today's events in Moscow to the Orange Revolution of 2004 in Kiev, or the 2000 protests against the Milosevic regime in Belgrade - the first of the series of "colour revolutions". However, this is not quite correct.
"First of all, the events around Maidan in Ukraine and the capture of the Serbian Assembly by the country's youth were the result of an extensive campaign, rooted in the long-term actions of the democratic opposition "Ukraine without Kuchma" in the first case and a complete exhaustion and demoralization resulting from the war in Serbia in the second. In comparison to its neighboring countries, Russia of the 2000s was a rarity with its centralizing and stabilizing processes after the "dangerous 90s".
"Secondly, both the Ukrainian and Serbian revolutionaries had a clearly thought-out plan of action. The meetings of the organizing committee of the recent protest movement, which can be watched online, are full of quarrels and demonstrate the jumbled relationships between the participants. The private telephone conversations between the movement leaders, published in the Russian edition of Lifenews, contained outright obscenities being said to each other. We are thus yet to hear about a "shadow government" of Russian opposition. The composition of this committee can be characterized as a situational alliance between individuals who only yesterday it would have been impossible to imagine together in a single room.
"But the main difference that sets the Russian protests apart from the past events in Serbia and Ukraine is the absence of a single leader under whose banner the opposition could gather. The famous blogger and lawyer Alexei Navalny has now had his photo published on the cover of Time Magazine. However, one has to admit that this young man with his 35 years of age is too inexperienced to be a real authority and leader of Russia's protests. We can still remember his Ukrainian counterpart Vladislav Kaskiva (age 39), the former leader of the young revolutionaries and the head of the "orange" party "Pora". He is now working as the head of the State Agency for Investment and National Projects in the Cabinet of Viktor Yanukovych, the man against whom the people of Ukraine rallied seven years ago. The leader of the once famous Serbian movement "Otpor" has similarly become disillusioned with politics and has been withdrawn from political activity for quite some time now.
"In contrast to the experienced Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, both of whom have many years of work in the government behind them (one having served as the Prime Minister of Ukraine from 1999 to 2001 and the other as a member of the Parliament of Serbia from 1990 to 1997), in the eyes of his supporters, Alexey Navalny does not have the necessary political weight. He might simply be the person behind whom other not so nice people are hiding. Among these could be Russian nationalists, whose marches Mr. Navalny has often attended in the recent years and who, like Bolsheviks, could use Navalny temporarily to then come to power themselves. This, after all, has happened before."
Oleg Bondarenko - director of the Russian-Ukrainian Information Center, publicist and politologist.
SOURCE Russia Insights