A while ago, in order to deflect emergent opposition from threatening the central authorities by winning elections at the federal level, the government instead suggested that these aspirants start at the bottom and focus their attention on local matters and gain election to municipal bodies. But this was a transparent ruse. The opposition did not listen and anyway the authorities did not really want them elected to anything at any level.
Now the forces of order but not of law, which no longer exists in the Western meaning of the term, are cracking down on municipal deputies from across the country holding meetings, apparently for health reasons. They are also excessively nervous about the internet. Hence the threat to Twitter to accept their censorship or be denied access to the Russian market.
Once again, as on the question of Naval’ny, now locked in what amounts to a prison for hardened criminals, the Kremlin has tipped overboard in its terror at the very idea of working democracy, and once again Nezavisimaya gazeta is gently suggesting that this kind of attitude and behaviour is unwise.
What the government fails to understand is that if they choke off all democracy they will brutalise the opposition into taking another path since all reasonable alternatives are denied them, which is what Lenin set out to do when he returned to Russia in April 1917.
О фактическом пресечении легальной оппозиционности в России
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Власть определила для муниципальных депутатов предел амбиций