Tendance Coatesy

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Russian pro-Navalny Protests, Conspiracist ‘anti-imperialists’ react.

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St Petersburg rally

St Petersburg: Crowd Shouts ‘Down the Tsar!. 

Alexei Navalny protests: Moscow in lockdown as police detain thousands

Riot police and national guard troops close central metro stations and block off streets


Moscow police have paralysed the centre of the Russian capital as protests in support of the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny continue for a second consecutive weekend.

At least 3,000 people including Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, were detained at rallies across the country as supporters of the Kremlin critic took to the streets to protest against his jailing, despite biting cold and the threat of arrest.


Already the ‘anti-imperialist’ friends of  Vladimir Putin are responding:

George Galloway Retweeted:

The Notorious site The Grayzone of Max Blumenthal.

“Despite facing repression, Alexei Navalny is no hero. Russian writer Katya Kazbek reveals the Western-backed opposition figure’s real history.”



Eva Bartlett, a Canadian activist and blogger who is known for promoting conspiracy theories about Syria She writes opinion editorials  for the television network RT, aka Putin Telly.

“Western mass media and hypocritically-indignant Western representatives are again busily claiming Russian peaceful protesters have been brutalized by police in demonstrations across Russia on January 23.

The sloganeers demand the release of the unpopular petty criminal and Western flunkey, Alexei Navalny, arrested upon returning to Russia for having broken Russian law.”

A contrasting left wing analysis of the background:

Ilya Budraitskis

Russia: Mass protests calling for Navalny’s release on 23 January, set to continue

On 23 January, large-scale protests were held in Russia, the main unifying demand of which was the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who had been arrested a week earlier just after his return from Berlin (where he was being rehabilitated after being poisoned).

On the eve of the rally, after his arrest, Navalny’s campaign team presented a video about Vladimir Putin’s secret palace, which cost about 100 billion roubles (about $13 million) and was astonishingly opulent and senseless. Against a backdrop of economic stagnation, rising inflation, and unemployment, the story of this palace resonated enormously (over 90 million views on Youtube at the moment) not only as an example of corruption, but also as a demonstration of colossal social inequality in modern Russia.

Unlike the previous Navalny investigations in which high-ranking bureaucrats and oligarchs close to power have been the heroes, this time it is the authoritarian leader himself whose sustained popularity has until recently provided the legitimacy of the regime. Not surprisingly, the publication of the film and the call to go out into the streets provoked a panicked reaction from the authorities: “preventive” talks were held at every school and university, informing students that their participation in the protests would lead to “problems”, and all TV channels explained that the palace did not really belong to Putin, who preferred an ascetic way of life.

Read more view link (Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières)


Written by Andrew Coates

January 31, 2021 at 5:20 pm

3 Responses

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  1. The increasingly reclusive Putin’s rather tacky pleasure dome on the Crimea and the fleeting glimpse of the opulence inside reminds me a bit of chapter 8 in a book published in 1945.

    “Napoleon himself was not seen in public as often as once in a fortnight. When he did appear, he was attended not only by his retinue of dogs but by a black cockerel who marched in front of him and acted as a kind of trumpeter, letting out a loud “cock−a−doodle−doo” before Napoleon spoke. Even in the farmhouse, it was said, Napoleon now inhabited separate apartments from the others. He took his meals alone, with two dogs to wait upon him, and always ate from the Crown Derby dinner service which had been in the glass cupboard in the drawing−room.”

    david walsh

    January 31, 2021 at 7:36 pm

  2. The Morning Star’s coverage of this has been a bizarre exercise in contortions and waffle. Their coverage seemed to be following Putin’s line but then the Russian Communist Youth League (the Komsomol) put out a quite sensible statement and in Tuesday Jan 26 (print edition), the following appeared:

    Putin’s attempt to downplay protests won’t wash
    By Ben Chacko

    RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to downplay the size of protests that saw thousands arrested at the weekend won’t wash, the country’s communist youth league said yesterday.

    The Komsomol said the rallies were “undoubtedly the largest since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the de-facto banning of all opposition events.”

    Mr Putin’s spokesman claimed on Sunday that only “a few” people had turned out to the protests, which were called by anti-Putin activist Alexei Navalny following his arrest on his return to Russia from hospital treatment in Berlin for apparent Novichok poisoning. Russia has dismissed complaints from the EU and United States over the arrests.

    But the Komsomol said that “not only supporters of the arrested blogger but thousands of citizens with completely different views” took part.

    The “rhetoric of the participants” in many cities showed popular “outrage at the declining standard of living, rising prices for housing and public transport, the healthcare crisis and the lack of proper support in a pandemic” were major motivations, it said. The protests were a call for “socio-economic and political change” — but had been met by the state with “truncheons and the open doors of police vehicles.”

    Feted in the West, Mr Navalny is a controversial figure in Russia whose Islamophobic rhetoric — he has referred to Muslims as “cockroaches” and described the lives of women in the Caucasus as being “wrapped up in a burqa and having 25 children” — and support for an annual nationalistic “Russian march” on November 4 that attracts a range of far-right groups under slogans including “Russia for the Russians” and “Migrants today, occupiers tomorrow” place him on the right of the political spectrum.

    The Komsomol statement noted that the demands of the protesters do not align with Mr Navalny’s own policies, as “in his speeches you will not find a word about nationalisation, or the creation of a system of free healthcare and education.”

    But the Russian state had helped make him a martyr by “detention and trial in a police station under a portrait of [Stalin-era police chief] Genrikh Yagoda,” which “looked ridiculous, like the actions of the villain in a theatrical production.

    “Their unconvincing attempts to justify themselves and blame everything on the intrigues of Western special forces” would only feed further protest, it said.

    Jim Denham

    January 31, 2021 at 9:54 pm

  3. A sort of adjoining work that relates to JD’s post, https://mronline.org/2021/02/01/is-russia-waking-up/


    February 7, 2021 at 11:12 pm

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