Ten years ago, on the 10th of February, 2007 at The Munich Security conference the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin delivered his well-known Munich Speech. A lot of experts claim this speech the same as the Iron Curtain speech of Winston Churchill launched a new round of confrontation between Russia and the West. In his speech, Putin lashed out at his geopolitical opponents and announced his intention to pursue his own independent policy. We all remember what happened next.
Now, exactly 10 years later, on the 10th of February, 2017 Russian opposition leaders held a conference, where the current regime policy was subjected to harsh criticism and the opposition leaders expressed their full determination to act in accordance with their notions of justice and honor, and to make every effort to change the regime…
Finally the opposition representatives were given the right and opportunity officially to talk with the media about their ideas, plans and programs. Of course, they had to put much effort for such a possibility, to “wordplay” a little with metropolitan officials, changing some terms in order to make them sound less repulsive to the officials (for example the name of the main theme of the conference had to be changed). You should keep in mind the fact that the opposition got the approval for such conference is not trivial at all! And what was the official theme of the press conference? – “The New opposition and the street protests”. Even the seediest “Russian jingoist” would notice the ghost of “Euromaidan” beyond these words. Nevertheless, the event was held.
At 13:00 p.m. the White Hall of the House of the Journalist in Moscow was already full: the organizers, their supporters, the journalists and ordinary people interested in the issue had already gathered. The press conference started from the speeches of Roman Kovalev, Dmitry Stepanov and Yuri Gorsky – three of the five scheduled speakers of the “New Opposition”. But we will get back to it later. The speakers told about the specifics of the new protest movement such as the union of all political forces (liberals, democrats and nationalists) against one enemy; the “bet” on the street protest instead of elections; they told about the future of Russia and its place in the arena of world politics.
Sometimes the other members of the “New Opposition” took the floor, and told about the famous “Opposition walks”, about Vyacheslav Maltsev, about election, about Dmitry Demushkin and his unenviable position, about the absent Mark Galperin.
The second part of the press conference was devoted to answering questions. The themes of current problems in the regions, the organization of protests, the problem of outflow of the citizens from Russia, including young people were touched on. Opposition activists Andrei Petrovsky and Denis Romanov paid attention to the feeling of “hopelessness” of life in Russia, prevailing among a significant part of the youth, which is certainly a very bad signal. (Are we really back to USSR?). Young woman – an employee of the channel REN TV did not fail to ask the question about the slogan “Glory to Russia” and whether such rhetoric would lead to Euromaidan. Needless to say that such form of question caused, though restrained, but some negative reactions among people.
As a result, we can conclude that, the conference turned out to be more than successful, the organizers estimated it very positively, they were very pleased with the interest of journalists and ordinary citizens (including foreign citizens), and with the subsequent wave of interest to the press conference in the social networks. Also a very positive moment: despite the presence of law enforcement officials, no one was detained. Isn’t it a reason for rejoicement?
There were five name tags at the head of the table where the representatives of the “New opposition” were sitting. But there were there representatives only. Two great friends and loyal companions of us did not present. Ivan Beletsky and Mark Galperin missed a meeting against their will. They were subjected to political persecution by the authorities. Five names, but only three people. This is a true symbol of democracy in our Motherland. So let the whole country and the whole world see this “democracy”. So let it be a symbol of our struggle and its eternal reason. Two empty seats, two friends temporary pulled out of our lines …
Burtov, Anton Vyacheslavovich (26.09.1993, Novomoskovsk, Tula Oblast) - reporter and interpreter of "ArtPolitInfo". Graduated from Moscow State Social University in 2015. Since 2013 has been taking part in "Russian marches" and other opposion activities. Also took part in pre-election campaign of Vyacheslav Maltsev in 2016