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Russian Socialists in the Struggle for Democracy

For the past few weeks, protests for fair elections in upcoming municipal polls have become weekly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as thousands have defied authorities to attend unsanctioned rallies. The police crackdown has been particularly harsh in Moscow. Protests on July 27 and August 3 resulted in over 2000 detentions. Images of police in riot gear wrestling citizens to the ground and beating peaceful protesters were reminiscent of the mass protests against election fraud in 2011-2012.

Members of the Russian Socialist Movement, a small Marxist, anti-Stalinist organization active in the Russian left, have been participants in local electoral campaigns and in the protests. Two RSM activists, Valeria Kovelishina and Ilya Budraitskis talk about the Russian Socialist Movement, their electoral work, the protests for democracy in Russia and what they might mean for the future.

Witnessing the Collapse of Communism

Roundtable discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Participants include Timothy Garton Ash, Bridget Kendall, and Jens Reich.

Nemtsov “scandalizes” Nashi

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The election circus in Sochi has some new developments.

The alleged polonium murderer Andrei Lugovoi won’t be running.  The LDPR announced that it will go with a different candidate.  According to the NY Times, the reason for the move is because Lugovoi “would have been at a disadvantage because he was not from the Sochi region, though it also seemed that his candidacy would have been awkward for the government.”  I guess that awkwardness doesn’t extend to having him in the Duma. Oh well . . .

But the big news concerns this week’s piss ammonia chloride attack on “Kremlin critic” Boris Nemtsov.  As I said in a post on the incident, Nemtsov immediately charged Nashi with the assault.  Nashi has not only emphatically denied the charge, they have also decided sue Nemtsov for court for the “slander.”  “The “Nashi” Movement is scandalized by the accusation,” reads a Nashi press release, “and demands from Nemtsov a public apology and compensation for damage to out honor and business reputation in the amount of 1 million rubles.”

This isn’t the first time Nashi has been involved in a lawsuit over “honor.”  Last February, “Kremlin critic” and Western media darling Garry Kasparov sued Nashi for insulting his “honor.”  Nashi won. Kasparov remains dishonored.

Was the attack really carried out by Nashi?  Like I said, the incident corresponds with their MO though splashing chemicals on their enemies is a new tactic.  There is speculation that the she-male who distracted Nemtsov was in fact a Nashi activist from Ryazan named Konstantin Markov.  According to Novaya gazeta, Sergei Ezhov, a Natsbol from Ryazan, recognized Markov despite his feminine disguise.  Novaya presented a photo of the attacker alongside a pic of Markov for comparison.


Konstantin Markov, Nashist, big Adam's apple


Chick with dick, Alleged Nashist, no Adam's apple

The two figures do look similar.  Both have the same square jaw and triangular nose.  But so do many Russian men, and particularly the ultra-Slavic specimens Nashi seems to attract.  Unfortunately, the key evidence, Markov’s bulging Adam’s apple, is hidden in the attacker’s photo.  Where’s Scooby and the gang when you really need them.

Sometimes you gotta love the idiocy of Russian politics.

Photos: Novaya gazeta