Abnormality still the norm in Putin’s Russia

As reported in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/04/celebrations-vladimir-putin-60th-birthday and also the Russian press, Vladimir Putin’s 60th birthday will be celebrated throughout Russia by Kremlin-funded organisations such as the Young Guard section of the United Russia party and naturally the state-controlled  TV channels, which will be airing countless programmes commenting on the role played by Russia’s so-called saviour.

Presumably this is part of the brainwashing campaign aimed at distracting the public from the deteriorating economic situation, as companies continue laying people off or providing them with long-term unpaid leave as the oil price falls below the level factored in the Russian budget and investors decide not to pile into Russia, having already got their fingers burnt more than once.

The opposition apparently plans to hold protests in Moscow and elsewhere. However, until the unease spreads more widely and trust grows in opposition plans (and as long as the opposition remains splintered), it seems unlikely that this will lead to anything.

Which may be just as well. Other than Grigory Yavlinsky, the majority of the opposition appear to lack an economic/political plan that is comprehensible or feasible.

So for the time being abnormality will reign: pictures of a benevolent Tsar broadcast hourly on state TV against a slowing economy with more and more people cast aside.


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