Russia: Artificial Coma
Environmentalist (Konstantin Fetisov is in an artificially induced coma, as is Kommersant Newspaper journalist Oleg Kashin. They want to immerse all of society in such a coma.
- the attempted murder of civic activist Konstantin Fetisov. He is in an induced coma;
- the attempted murder on journalist Oleg Kashin. He has a broken jaw, legs, fingers, and is also in an induced coma;
- the State Duma has adopted, and the Council of the Federation approved, amendments to the law on meetings and demonstrations which still further restrict citizens’ rights to hold them;
- an absurd criminal investigation has been initiated against artist Loskutov, known for his participation in opposition protest actions;
- there have been demonstrative “mask shows”, seemingly by the FSB Special Forces [spetsnaz] against the National Reserve Bank owned by Alexander Lebedev;
- on REN TV they have once and for all stopped Andrei Makarov’s “Justice” from going on air, while on Channel 5 they are preparing a change of management and reformatting of programmes for the purpose of pre-election television propaganda;
- the “Russian March” by nationalists passed under a clearly indulgent attitude from the authorities, giving the sign that “the marchers” could come in useful;
- Internet trolls, filling the blogosphere with texts about the unacceptability of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev’s acquittal have become more active;
- A campaign is beginning to curb street trading in Moscow –sale of the press could, as in 2002, be hit.
These events can not be viewed in any other way then as the latest mass purge of the information realm and sphere of civic activity. As intimidation of all that lives, breathes and moves without receiving the sanction of the “vertical” of power.
On the other hand, the President’s veto on the draconian amendments to the law on street protests preventing the further restricting of citizens’ constitutional rights and liberties. On the other hand there is the fact that the President has taken the investigation into the attack on Oleg Kashin under his personal control.
This is the beginning of a brutal and already bloody pre-election campaign. A campaign about which those who want to maintain the status quo and even further consolidate their power over society are frightened by the at least hypothetical prospect of Russia’s move towards the contemporary world and social maturity. They are therefore trying to place society into an induced coma, blocking their ability to see, hear, think and take part in their own fate.