Who owns political protests?
Author: Yelena Sutormina, no comments
The political protests which began in Moscow in late July are a remarkable illustration of Western countries’ interference in Russia’s domestic affairs. There is no doubt now that these provocations are nothing more than the manipulation of public opinion by some countries, in particular the United States and Germany.
We have seen that the media and public organizations funded by the governments of these countries – for example, Germany’s Deutsche Welle or American Radio Liberty – and even official organizations, such as the US State Department and the German Embassy, have openly called on Russian citizens to violate the law and join unsanctioned protests.
I want to remind you that today some Russian media outlets, in particular, the RT TV network and Radio Sputnik, were closed in a number of EU countries and the United States on fictitious charges. In our case, interference is an indisputable fact and we must respond to it.
Below are some examples of this interference:
— Germany’s Deutsche Welle TV and radio broadcaster circulated information on social networks about the meeting points, the time and the routes of unsanctioned protests in Moscow.
— The US State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Twitter account posted details about where and when an unsanctioned rally would take place [in Moscow]. Later, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on summoning Minister-Counselor of the US Embassy Tim Richardson to the Ministry.
— The Russian-language version of Germany’s Deutsche Welle published the following slogans: “Moscow citizens, go out into the streets” and “Moscow, get out there” complete with the details of unsanctioned protests, including the meeting points and the routes.
— An American citizen told detainees placed in a police van how to behave at a police station and how to fill in the protocol of interrogation to mislead the law enforcers. She showed her ID card to prove her US citizenship.
This is not merely direct evidence of foreign countries’ interference in Russia’s domestic affairs but, as things stand, a blatant crime – instigating people to violate the law. I believe those guilty should be brought to justice in keeping with the Russian and international laws.
Today, it is necessary to raise, at the federal level, the issue of introducing tough measures, including closures, in respect of the Western media that have become a tool used to interfere in Russia’s domestic affairs.
We regularly hear from our colleagues in the United States and the EU that Russia interferes in elections in different countries at practically all levels. However, they have never provided facts about our interference and have never specified which media outlet we used to influence public opinion. This is because none of this exists – it is as simple as that. We know only too well what a civil or political crisis in a country means and what tough domestic conflicts are like because we lived through all this back in the 1990s. We see what foreign interference in Ukraine has led to: although the country has replaced one president [since the 2014 events] and its political elite, it is still unable to recover and effectively resolve the situation that has evolved in its southeastern regions. We respect the sovereignty of other countries and believe that any attempts to plunge us into chaos are unacceptable.
It is a natural and essential right to defend one’s sovereignty as it is the foundation of any country. It is the responsibility of civil society and authorities to prevent this foundation from being destabilized. Our Western colleagues have already managed to re-enact this scenario in many of our neighboring countries, giving them smart names, like “color revolutions” or “velvet revolutions.” What we see are the ongoing political crises in these countries and the change of political elites while the ordinary people are being hit the hardest.
Within the next few days, members of parliament will discuss the situation with unsanctioned protests, the oversight measures to be taken and likely legislative decisions to stop foreigners from arrogantly pushing their way into our homes.
Russia respects international law. Our laws have been developed in compliance with it. We should resolve all domestic issues and controversies through dialogue and nobody should interfere in our affairs. Unfortunately, there are forces who believe that if they draw support from the outside they would be able to win and without owing anything to anyone. They should realize that they are just pawns in a game played by someone else. Or perhaps they realize it already but they just want to enjoy being at the top for a while and do not care what happens next. The future of our country is of no interest to them.
Courtesy by Ekho Moskvy radio station
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