Illustrative photo

Protests in Russia flow from Moscow to the regions.

Protest week in Yekaterinburg became the main political event in Russia. If we had asked a few weeks ago, whether it conceivable that the country day by day is closely watched as people in not the largest city of Russia, with the Ural defending a small square, probably, almost anyone would say that this is absolutely incredible. And today what is happening can not be considered any authority (local, Federal), no TV channels, carefully protecting the population from such news.

The capital of the Russian protest

This is the third major series of regional protests in Russia in recent months: late last year, was in a fever of Ingushetia due to the territorial dispute with Chechnya, and in the Arkhangelsk region are continuing protests against the construction of garbage landfill near the village of Sies. The most notable events in the capitals at this time – sanctioned rally in defense of the Internet in Moscow and unauthorized meeting within the “sanctioned” in St. Petersburg – do not go to any comparison with the regional protests.

It took not so much time to significantly undermine the reputation of the two largest cities of Russia as the main opposition regions. If St. Petersburg has a chance to correct the rebellious image before the upcoming elections of the Governor, incredibly prettier with the current mayor of Moscow now seems unable to generate any active protest agenda, as lingering debate about the permissibility of cooperation with the authorities in the Moscow city Duma elections – do not count.

More recently, the perception of the capital’s protests as “besyaschihsya with fat and did not represent, than to live in Russia”, was almost universally accepted. Remember the “angry citizens” threatened the workers with “Uralvagonzavod”? Say, angry workaholic will come at a regular unsanctioned rally and without much tenderness will teach liposuction to love the Motherland.

In Moscow, they did not wait and, apparently, did not wait for: events that are supposed to arouse the indignation of Patriotic proletarians, happening now almost in walking distance. They will not come and become a nationally-known square, but that’s another conversation – on the drive (or lack thereof) of regional supporters of the authorities.

The land and the natives

How did it happen that the protest from the center flowed in recently quite loyal province? In regions that supply excellent or at least decent figures of the ruling party and Putin personally in any election? It seems all are satisfied: Russia is a great power we hold in suspense the whole world, our Crimea, Ukraine – beneath us, fun have pressed fighting off enemies, and power – thieving, but their own. And suddenly something gave way.

Each of the three protesting regions their own reasons for statements. But there is something unifying. In all three cases, it somehow comes to land which encroached the government. During weaning they relate to the local people about the way the colonizers treated the natives. This land and associated causes her to appreciate and love – from the graves of their ancestors to the ability to just walk – be local residents last Bastion, they are ready to defend to the last.

In fairness I must say that this seizure of land is in capitals: in Moscow, the opposition of the “square temple” is, in several districts, however, all this is local in nature and concerned mainly the residents of neighboring houses.

Of the Moscow authorities in excess of opportunity to pour money away social discontent – here in the Park Church was built, but ten playgrounds in the yards has built, wifi with jam gave everywhere and almost at every step some ring.

Treatment in Moscow

The social contract with residents at the regional level from the point of view of the Moscow authorities now looks like this: you do not climb into politics, including the distribution of ownership, and we improved your life like never before.

And it is executed by both parties: even for such a controversial history as dysentery in kindergartens and schools in Moscow can not be the cause for mass protests, the more power to it albeit not promptly and effectively respond.

But the fact of the matter is that Moscow is not all Russia, and beyond the authorities also want the resources and success as we Sobyanin, but usually not. Even in relatively rich and industrialized Ekaterinburg second metro line can be built over the years.

Means to fulfil its part of obligations under the social contract the regional authorities no. Unsurprisingly, people are not ready to accept and immediately apply for a more active participation in the life of their region – if you do not pay benefits, pay rights.

Under the current political system of Russia protest against the local authorities becoming more effective. Mass demonstrations is the only thing that seriously scares the Central government, therefore, through rallies, they turn directly to Moscow: “Look, your minions are unable to cope with us”. And Moscow, as we can see, can hear well.

Alexander plushev, DW