On 31 January, all of Russia was swept by protests - some demanded the release of Navalny, some chanted that Putin is a thief and others took to the streets to show that they are dissatisfied with the fact that Russia has turned from a superpower into a mere corrupt banana republic lead by chimpanzees holding grenades.
I already wrote about the beginning of the end of Putin's Russian world, so protests of such scale were only a matter of time. But the saddest thing in all this is that no one knows whether the end of Putin's era wouldn't just mean the beginning of the same era but with a different person at the helm. In any case, it is once again time for Russia to change, and let us hope that this time it changes for the better.
These protests must be taken seriously, despite what that the Kremlin's media outlets are trying to report on them. At least 5,000 people were detained, including 100 journalists. There is no clearer evidence of Putin's regime attacking democracy and the freedom of speech than these protests.
We all saw Russian law enforcement officers mercilessly beating those detained with rubber sticks, kicking people who were on the ground, using electroshock, and all this because Putin himself - in the safety of his bunker - was shocked about what is going on. Social media networks are filled with photo and video evidence of policemen trying to break someone's legs or attempting to teach the protesters that they should love Putin by beating them with sticks.
The most interesting in all this is that this time it wasn't only Russian law enforcement that sided against the people, it was also the notorious Russian Orthodox Church. This is just another indicator that the Russian Orthodox Church has never had anything to do with god, whatever that may be.
Patriarch Kirill is certain that the Russian youth have been negatively influenced by some sort of information that allegedly drives them mad. "If we wish out nation a bright future, we must think about how the consciousness of our youth is being shaped, about the forces that influence their hearts and souls, about information today being tailored in a way to devour the modern person," a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church noted, adding that the negative information comes from the media, especially television and internet. It seems that even elderly men in Russia have stopped believing in the healing powers of holy corpses.
I view Kirill's message as being strategically important, as it predicts the future policies of Russia. It's too early to talk about the Kremlin's endgame because the light at the end of the tunnel is nowhere to be seen, but I assume that the patriarch wanted to say that Russia will unfortunately turn into a modern version of the Soviet Union. The second possibility is even sadder, i.e. Russia is turning into a quite large North Korea where everyone speaks Russian.
The patriarch is urging Russia to implement censorship of the press and speech, deny access to information and fill Russia's media space exclusively with "ideologically correct" information that has been approved by the Kremlin. Medvedev has already spread the great news of Russia being prepared to disconnect from the global web.
Even the next-in-rank goon of the Russian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Tikhon has publicly expressed his support for the Kremlin by comparing the recent protests with the 1917 revolution. He stressed that it was the revolution that put an end to monarchy in Russia, accidentally publicly revealing that Putin is the monarch of Russia. I will admit - I may have had the same suspicion, considering the recent constitutional amendments and everything else.
"It is our own fault. We were the ones who destroyed the great and powerful country," he said pointing out that it took the new government [Bolsheviks] only five months to ruin the economy and suffer a shameful defeat at the front [WWI]. Well, of course, what else was Lenin supposed to do?
So, the Russian Orthodox Church is now sparing no effort in its attempts to convince the Russian public that Putin is the "good guy" and that it's bad to protest, since it may bring the country to a collapse. I would replace "country" with "another Russia created by chekists and communists".
However, the empty blabbering of the Orthodox Church is actually quite hilarious because it's very unlikely that any of the protesters would be willing to listen to such nonsense. Nowadays, no one really believes fairytales about devils, angels and a god, because in reality we are forced to deal with communists, chekists and corrupt politicians, while the protesters in Russia are forced to deal with the "tender" embraces of the OMON.
One thing is certain - Putin's regime, i.e. all of the so-called "politicians" and the rest of the animals in the food chain created by the current system, is afraid from the protest sentiments of the people, and I like to think that these sentiments are growing and an increasing number of people from all social classes will join the protests. And when this happens, the active club swinging by the "defenders of the regime" will lead to the deaths of Russian activists, members of the intelligentsia, journalists and simple citizens.
It seems that a race has begun titled "Who will be first: the people or the regime?". If the people are first, which is unlikely, Putin will be forced to lock himself in in one of his bunkers in Gelendzhik or Rostov. If the regime is first, Russia will have succeeded in turning itself into North Korea.