Police officers at the crosswalk in Volgograd. Photo by Tatyana Filimonova for the "Caucasian Knot"

26 January 2021, 21:26

Analysts assess motives of protesters in Southern Russia

The protests on January 23 became the largest in the past quarter century, journalist Sergey Smirnov reports. The main motive for participation in the protest actions is social discontent, while the political component has faded into the background, political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko suggests.

In total, on January 23, 250,000-300,000 people took part in the protest actions in support of Alexei Navalny throughout the whole Russia, says Leonid Volkov, the head of the Alexei Navalny's office network.

"This time, despite the vivid picture from Moscow and Saint Petersburg, it is important to know that a lot of people – hundreds, if not thousands – took to the streets in other regions, in a number of provincial cities that had not earlier been politically active. This is a rather unprecedented phenomenon," Sergey Smirnov notes.

The coalition around Alexei Navalny wants to bring the protest to a scale exceeding the level of the protests in 2011-12, believes Yevgeny Minchenko, the head of the International Institute of Political Expertise.

Andrei Serenko, the coordinator of the Volgograd club of experts in the Lower Volga region, does not consider the current protest actions to be particularly massive. However, he points out that the protests were mainly attended by young people under 30, who were most of all deprived in the face of economic difficulties amid the pandemic.

Economist Sergey Zhavoronkov also mentions the important factor that the standard of living of the Russian population has been falling almost continuously for six years, since 2014.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 26, 2021 at 02:18 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Rustam Djalilov; Source: CK correspondent

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