Russian Duma is working on legislation what would outlaw any criticism of any organizations taking part in the war. The initiative came from the evil clown Prigozhin, who promotes the idea to outlaw not only criticism but also any information regarding criminal record. Since he is a former convict and is under pressure from Russian alternative media (notably Igor Strelkov’s Telegram channel with 800,000 subscribers), such a law will benefit him directly, as well as the top brass of the Russian MoD and security services officials.
The proposed law first states that a distribution of any intentionally false information regarding any person, official or organization taking part in the war, would be punishable by either a fine of up to 5M rubles, up to 5 years of forced labor, or up to 15 years in prison/penal colony.
Naturally, this is the Rasputin’s government’s response for the avalanche of criticism regarding the failures and even crimes of such officials that aren’t being reported or addressed in any way in the Russian mainstream media. And, since the president Rasputin is technically a supreme commander of the Russian military, he would be also protected by this totalitarian law.
Incidentally, a regional representative of a Kremlin-aligned Communist party published in social media himself watching president’s yearly address to Russian legislators and the public TV-broadcast while spaghetti hanging from his ears. There is a Russian saying “to hang noodles on one’s ears”, meaning telling lies or convenient half-trues to people in order to manipulate them. The regional legislators body is now acting to punish the man, and gave recommendations to the Communist Party to take away his party membership.
The point is that some regular people and low-level officials are starting to express their dismay regarding the situation in Russia. Those aren’t western-oriented ideologists, that were active during the start of the war, but people who consider the current regime to be too weak and incompetent to protect and promote Russian interests. Most of them are actually much less lenient to the Rasputin’s long-held ideas of cooperation with (or rather — under) the West.
Another interesting story which stresses the government’s insecurities is the witch-hunt against anime-fans among Russian teens. Reportedly, after some of “unusual-looking” anime loving teens were beaten by some “athletic youth” which happen to be of Caucasian ethnicity. In response, anime fans around the country tried to resist the usual hooligans and troublemakers by gathering in groups. The authorities saw it as a threat to the regime and started arresting and detaining the school children who happen to wear anime-related clothes and gathered in groups. This is reportedly a “preventing measure”. Naturally, the usual troublemakers, the football fans, hooligans, small criminals and the regular Caucasian “golden youth” are not viewed as any kind of a threat to the regime.
The authorities went as far as accusing those anime fans as being targeted by the Ukrainian psy-op. The funny thing is Ukraine had similar issues with their anime-fans youth, which were declared as influenced by Kremlin psy-op. A Russian Duma member of Caucasian ethnicity went as far as suggesting some anime series and games should be outlawed.
This whole ordeal puts a few existing problems in Russian society on the surface. First is the lack of any sane ideology in modern Russia the youth can be a part of. Local minorities are given preferential and unfair treatment by authorities, often enraging the Russian or Slavic majority. Large federal budgets go into Chechen, Turkic and southern and eastern ethnical minorities — not all of them, but only the ones connected to power-holding senior officials in federal offices. Recently Strelkov reported that two units from such minority regions were sent back from the war zone after rebelling. Those were the only two units, and both weren’t from ethnically Russian regions.
Kazan (Turkic minority region) was given an unprecedented autonomy and continues to get very favorable financial support from the Russian government in industrial development. Chechnya is a black hole for Russian federal budget, sucking in money in order to enhance the power and local popular support of its mini-dictator, the Chechnyan president Ramzan Kadyrov. Criminal and dubious activities on Russian ethnic majority regions by those connected to Kadyrov or other local minority authorities are being swept under the rug by the orders coming down from the top government officials.
In this situation, while lacking any proper ideology and at the same time seeing the Russian majority is being suppressed by Russian government in favor of some power-aligned ethnical minorities (with anti-Russian ideology), creates a situation there the people are starting to express their frustration by taking things into their own hands. By prosecuting and demonizing teens who like anime and hate being beaten for it by Caucasians, the authorities will only empower radical nationalistic views among the Russian public.
Actually, some of the signs are already there. I was surprised and worried to see some alternative Russian patriotic Telegram channels using the word “Russkie voiska”, i.e. [ethnically-] Russian troops, instead of the usual “Rossiyskie voiska” i.e. Russian [Federation] troops. The incompetency and nepotism of Russian authorities, the lack of ideology to cling to during a time of crisis, the discrimination of ethnically Russian population in favor of some minorities — all this widens the chasm between the current regime and the population. Sensing those sentiments growing in the public, authorities try to choke them by force, instead of addressing the underlaying issues.
This happens on the background of extremely poorly managed war and without a clear military victory in sight. Russian public will overlook many sins of its leaders, but the one they won’t, is the weakness of their military. Regime changes in Russia followed botched up military campaigns. Russo-Japanese war lead to the end of Russian monarchy, and the Afghan war led to the end of the Soviet communist regime. In both cases the leadership grow completely detached from realities, and the army was weakened by incompetency, corruption and nepotism. It is quite possible therefore the Rasputin’s regime will meet a similar end it a few years, thus transforming Russia into a new state, propelled by new ideology.
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