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Grigory Yavlinskys appeal to protesters

Novaya Gazeta

March 5, 2012

"There Can Be No Revolutions in Russia Today. All the 'breakthroughs', 'onslaughts', and unauthorized demonstrations are dangerous provocations deprived of any political meaning or goal"

I am appealing to my supporters, to all the citizens who, after March 4, are planning to participate in the mass rallies, and also to all Russia's opposition political leaders - we must do everything to avoid violence and bloodshed, we must not yield to possible provocative actions by the authorities, we must not permit unleashing of a civil war in the country.

I am appealing to all the opposition political leaders who are organising protest actions and inviting people to join them: if violence takes place during these days, it will lead to dramatic weakening of the opposition and will cause a long-lasting setback. It is our responsibility and our task to avert violence and prevent provocations. In complex and unpredictable circumstances, in dealing with the authorities who most often do not want any compromises on the substance of the matter and who at the same time possess great experience and traditions of political reprisals, it is possible to preserve people's trust only by avoiding and preventing violence in every way and at the same time advancing steadily toward the goal - peaceful radical transformation of the authoritarian, inoperative and inhuman political system.

The basis of the first success for many years, achieved by the civil society in the past three months, is the peaceful, lawful nature of the actions. To reinforce and develop this success while remaining within this framework is difficult work, but dramatic escalation of tension and rejection of nonviolence as a key priority will inevitably lead to defeat.

There can be no revolutions in Russia today. All the "breakthroughs," "onslaughts," unauthorized demonstrations and other PR events devised by some individuals and putting lives and health of citizens who are outraged at the injustices and lies at risk represent dangerous provocations deprived of any political meaning or goal in the conditions that have taken shape.

On the contrary, we should prove to all our potential supporters that we can be trusted and that we clearly understand the aims and goals of the democratic protest movement not as our own self-expression but as the defence of the interests of citizens who vitally need large-scale, serious and responsible changes in Russia. Only in this case will the number of our supporters throughout the country become ever greater. Only by following this path will we become responsible spokesmen for the opinion of a significant section of Russian society.

The vote of March 4 and its results should be treated with a sober understanding of their place in our socio-political life. This event may have an extremely high emotional charge that in certain conditions could give it political significance, but the actual procedure of elections conceived as uncontested has almost nothing to do with this, the actual meaning of the event is incommensurately small to start a serious battle over the result. An exhausting battle over the results of the "election without a choice" is not worth risking the future. It is much more important to preserve the potential, the political initiative, to preserve and develop the interest of many people in politics, to maintain not only the thrust of the protests but also constructive objectives. We should think about meaningful formulation of a new political agenda and the promotion of qualitatively new initiatives in the interests of the society.

Its just the beginning of the way! Everything lies ahead!


See also:

The original publication

Presidential Elections 2012


Novaya Gazeta

March 5, 2012

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