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  Echo of Revolution in Russia (I)

Vadim Volovoj, Doctor in Political Sciences
2007 06 27

The State Department of the United States has recently released the document „United States Supports Human Rights and Democracy Worldwide“. It expresses concern on democratic processes in Russia and anticipates financial support for the development of these processes. The response of Moscow towards this step of the United States was especially negative. Nearly at the same time B. Berezovski, residing in London, expressed his intention to organize revolution in Russia, since there was no chance to change the current regime without using force.  He let everybody understand that he has already got in touch with the representatives of the Russian elite dissatisfied with the policy executed by V. Putin.

The opposition in Russia has currently become more active and expressed its discontent via several „marches of the discontent“, which ended in riots, the OMON sticks and the arrest of leaders and other activists of the opposition.

All the above events have one general feature – the ambition of reconstruction of V. Putin‘s governance. The key goal of opposition in Russia is withdrawal of V. Putin and his collaborates from power. It has to be realized via technologies of „orange revolutions“. Application of such technologies on the eve of elections leads to disorders in the country, therefore it is worth while recalling V. Putin‘s words that he would stay in power only in case of unstable situation in the country. Here we have a paradox – the Americans, B. Berezovski and „the discontent“, while fighting with V. Putin‘s „vertical“, practically help him to stay in power.

In view of this, a question arises: maybe all this is only a game, played very skillfully by the Kremlin? Let‘s say that opposition in Russia could be controlled. Theoretically it is also possible that B.Berezovski could have made an agreement with the Kremlin (due to certain reasons) to play the above games. However, it is hard to believe that the Americans are also for the extension of V. Putin‘s power. On the one hand, neo-conservatives are pragmatics and for them the Russian democracy is not a secondary thing. V. Putin is already a well-known actor and possible to make agreement with, whereas what happens after him is absolutely unclear. Therefore it could be stated that both, V. Putin‘s position to stay in the power in case of crisis, and actions of opposition and B. Berezovski‘s steps have certain background.

Actions of V. Putin‘s surroundings is a very important issue in all the above situation. For his environment it is better to retain V. Putin in the post. Therefore certain layers in the Kremlin might be interested in the escalation of the situation in Russia up to a certain level so as to convince the president to stay in the Kremlin. However, it is not yet clear who is the key player in this game – V. Putin himself or certain people from his surroundings. It might also happen that this „managed chaos“ could become uncontrollable at a certain moment.

Then the position of the Russian nation becomes the  key issue. The „orange revolution“ in Russia is possible only in the case of mobilization of the nation.  For that reason there are special „orange“ political technologies.

Usually the concept „revolution“ is applied when changes of the power bring cardinal social, economic and political changes in the society. In that sense it would be difficult to call „orange“ revolutions as Revolutions: events in Georgia and/or Ukraine are not the same as the Great French Revolution.

The key engine of a revolution is the groups of interests.  Sometimes it is assumed that a key force of a revolution is the nation, however, it is only an object of manipulations. One of peculiarities of „orange“ revolutions are how their leaders manage to mobilize the nation and knock off the power. It can be stated that all revolutions are in the first place the elitist phenomena, based on the interests of the most influential societal groups. Simply their instruments are different, whereas the instruments of „orange“ revolutions are innovatorily exceptional.

Before analyzing the above instruments the principles of „orange“ revolutions should be specified. Nation is an object of impact, but for that it is necessary to elaborate the strategy (what is wanted from the nation) and tactics of impact (instruments of impact and mechanisms of their application).

Thus, „orange“ revolutions are a play of political technologies with a view to influencing human consciousness. In order to influence consciousness, specific „brain wash“ instruments are needed. The simplest technologies in this case are as follows:

  • Simplification and mythologization of the idea. People do not like complex and difficult speeches. They need simplicity („black-white“) and unambiguous catchwords. For a nation it is necessary to create a myth that „it is not possible to proceed with the former life“. The general revolutionary idea shall be the idea „against“,  since only this simple idea is best perceived.
  • Impact on feelings. It is instrumental to evoke feelings and the best instrument is provocations directed against the power. Afterwards, the nation is convinced that authorities used repression against peaceful protesters.

The key role in demonstrating cruelty of authorities, creating the myths and advertising ideas of opposition, is played by the media. This is the best way of “attracting” the citizens, watching TV and forming the majority.

Clearly, societies of the transitional period have higher revolutionary potential, i.e. the societies where the old identity has been discredited and the new has not yet been formed. In such a society it is easier to arrange a riot and set off the nation against the elite.

The external factor is of special importance in the „orange“ game; it might strengthen or weaken the potential of protesters. A good example is Ukraine. During the times of the first Maidan the West used to actively support „the orange“, who could promise a nice tomorrow to the Ukrainians in the European Union and NATO. Today this support is minimal, therefore „the blues“ supported by Russia, seem to be more advantaged.

In principle „orange“ revolutions are a phenomenon of the post-soviet space. „The orange“ do not always act according to democracy rules, the old authorities start making mistakes and are lost – they cannot use compulsion, however actions according to democracy rules are also inefficient. Thus there are only two ways out – to withdraw or to use tanks (however, not everybody can do that due to possible inobedience of the army or blocking of personal accounts in the Swiss bank). It seems that today the externally stable situation in Russia becomes more and more dangerous for the current authorities. V. Putin has also mentioned this. Moreover, people surrounding V. Putin could be playing with the fire instead of trying to blow it out, by seeking V. Putin‘s survival in the power. Under the above circumstances everything depends on how strong is the immune system of the Russian nation for „the orange“ virus. I‘ll talk about in the second part of the article.

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