As hundreds of people rallied in Moscow in support of elections for a united council for Russia’s non-systemic opposition, electronic voting for the council was extended for another day due to powerful hacker attacks. In light of the difficulties that have been faced by the council-to-be thus far, opposition leader and Coordination Council candidate Garry Kasparov explains in this op-ed how the government’s attempts to brush off any responsibility are verifiably false.
The Orwellian semantics of the Ministry of Truth have already become an established element of our Kafkaesque reality. In this system, as everybody knows, peace means war. And when Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, responds to a question about elections to the opposition’s Coordination Council by saying: “To be honest, we aren’t paying much attention to this, since we are on a very tight schedule,” then this is a direct confirmation that the president is personally in control of a special operation to disrupt the opposition elections. The government, as opposed to the smug, shiny political scientists that it feeds, is perfectly aware of the danger of the crystallization of a center for the non-systemic opposition at a time when the System itself is in a state of heightened instability.
It was on October 20-21, 1990 that the Democratic Russia party held its founding congress, and the Chekists who built the new power vertical under Putin’s leadership remember well what the Soviet Communist Party’s inability to prevent the creation of active, independent, parallel political structures led to. The Kremlin also remembers that 150 thousand registered voters is actually quite a lot, because it refers to the mobilization of the part of society that’s politically active. The number of Russian citizens who have publicly expressed their desire to vote in the elections for Coordination Council clearly surpasses the total number of real members of all the official registered parties, including United Russia. The idea of the two million person army of United Russia and the All-Russia People’s Front, with their hundreds and thousands of Nashisti and other Putinjugend, exists only on paper, which the Putin regime de-facto admitted by ordering Sergei Mavrodi to use his neat columns of MMM members for spoiler voting.
Incidentally, by their logic, this actually makes sense. The power vertical, which has become the basic mode of operation for these crooks and thieves, can only rely on a pyramid scheme. Authoritarian regimes that only place their bets on the inertial development of social processes inevitably resort to the clumsiest possible methods of supporting the status quo. Lacking any meaningful support among active Russian citizens, the Kremlin is carrying out its traditional mobilization of power and propaganda resources. Barefaced “black humor” on state television, assaults by police and the judiciary on opposition activists, protected FSB hackers – this is the arsenal that this agonized regime is trying to use to delay its inevitable collapse.
The unprecedented efforts by Putin’s henchmen to disrupt the elections to the Russian opposition’s Coordination Council are the best possible confirmation that the idea is a good one. A legitimate body for the non-systemic opposition formed according to the results of free and fair voting can and must become the catalyst for the creation of a new political system in Russia.