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Sergei Mitrokhin made a speech in the Houses of Parliament in London

Press Release

November 12, 2012

In his speech in the Houses of Parliament in London YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin stated that policies of the Russian government towards an anti-European way of development had been changing the situation in the country. In his speech Mitrokhin touched upon such topics as political reprisals, toughening of the laws, clericalisation of the state and the problems of the opposition.

A conflict with the West has become more apparent and moreover demonstrative. Cultivation of xenophobia and hostility to the outside world allows the regime to feel more confident when rejecting accusations of election fraud, destruction of an independent judiciary, and so on, Mitrokhin stressed.
Sergei Mitrokhins briefing was held on the initiative of Lord John Alderdice. The meeting was hosted Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of LibDems, and Lord Alderdice, immediate past LI President. British MPs from the Liberal Democratic Party and their supporters and students from the London School of Economics and other British Universities participated in the meeting.

Sergei Mitrokhins report evolved around the specifics of the development of Russian and the tasks of the YABLOKO party.

President Putin had responded to the mass reprisals with tightening of the screws, Mitrokhin said. This is how Vladimir Putins regime tries to avoid the fate of his Middle Eastern counterparts. Obviously, Putin has been very concerned of the fates of his colleagues from the Arab world, and this makes him take up preventive measures against the Arab Spring scenario in Russia, he noted.
According to Mitrokhin, the government found a pretext for launching reprisals against the public activity after the developments of the rally of the 6th of May, when the police and security services managed to use the adventurous moods of some leaders of the protest movement for mass provocations at Bolotnaya Square in Moscow.
Sergei Mitrokhin told to British MPs about political reprisals against the opposition: political prisoners of the rallies of Bolotnaya Square, Leonid Razvozzhayev, YABLOKOs activists Maxim Petlin, Suren Gazoran and Yegeny Vitishko. Policemen are awarded bonuses and even gratuitous apartments for breaking peaceful rallies, he noted. The government divides the society creating social intolerance to all the critics of the system. Vladimir Putins regime has been continuously borrowing repressive practices of a totalitarian state, including not only Soviet, but also Nazi methods, Mitrokhin said.

In additions, the State Duma began at a record high speech introducing amendments broadening the proxies of the secret services and the police and restricting political and civil activities: into the law on rallies, the law on non-governmental organisations, the law on state treason and amendments stipulating toughening of controls over Internet and mass media.

According to Mitrokhin, Putin responded to the challenge made by the society with a new state ideology based on aggressive clericalism.
Orthodoxy has been exploited by the regime in a very specific interpretation focusing on the contraposition of this confession to the European values and the Western way of life, he stressed. The specific interpretation of Orthodoxy has begun playing the same role for Vladimir Putin's regime as the interpretation of Marxism for Soviet communists, racial theories for Adolph Hitler or Catholicism for General Franco.

In practice such ideological evolution resulted in a demonstratively cruel sentence to the participants of the Pussy Riot punk band, inspired anti-liberal "Orthodox leanings" or aggressive patrols by the Orthodox Banner Bearers and establishment of theology faculties in technological universities.

Speaking about the problems of the Russian opposition Mitrokhin gave a negative assessment of a union of some liberals with left or right radicals. A new political structure the Coordinating Council of the Opposition supported by such liberals represents a kind of a lift to the big politics for left radicals and nationalists or people with eclectic views, as for the latter extreme views are typical, Mitrokhin noted.

Mitrokhin also stressed that the views of left radicals and nationalists had not represent any alternative to the ideology or practices of the ruling regime. Realizing the deadly danger of radical ideologies for Russia YABLOKO had to resolutely dissociate itself from the so-called "united opposition" dominated by left-wing radicals and nationalists.

As 100 years ago, when mostly radical left opposition opposed anti-liberal autocracy, at present the divide line has been lying between anti-liberal reactionary government and non-liberal revolutionary opposition prone of right or left extremism, Mitrokhin noted.

In such circumstances, I see the mission of the YABLOKO party as follows: strictly marking the liberal and the European vector of the Russian politics we should peacefully change Vladimir Putins regime in this direction without any revolutionary upheavals that may lead either to destruction of the country, or to another period of totalitarian rule by the left-wing or the right-wing. The deja-vu situation implies that there should be at least one party which remembers the lessons of the history and therefore has a chance to avert repeating of the tragedy, concluded Mitrokhin.

See also:

A Russian Deja-Vu. The Political Development and the Objectives of the YABLOKO party. Sergei Mitorkhin's lecture in the British Parliment, London, November 12, 2012

Human Rights

Freedom of Assembly

YABLOKO Sister Parties



Press Release

November 12, 2012

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