After Putin’s close calls at the polls, naïve pundits speculated about the “compromises” he must make with democratic forces. They do not know Putin. For him, any compromise is a sign of weakness. He truly hates anyone who dares to oppose him and will do whatever he feels necessary to eliminate them.
Putin’s has made his intentions clear. He has appointed as “Presidential envoy to the Urals” an unknown shop foreman who volunteered to defend stability “with his own boys” if the police cannot handle the protesters themselves. Putin accepted his proposed method of dealing with what he called “good-for-nothing loudmouths.” Putin’s party is in the process of ramming through a reluctant parliament huge fines for protests, some in the range of a year’s salary. In those Moscow districts which elected non-Putin majorities to their city councils, Putin’s thugs prevent quorums in meetings that intend to authorize sit-ins and other forms of protesters.
Putin will not budge an inch. Let’s see what his opponents will do. The internet will not stay quiet. The protesters are developing new ways to engage in protests, such as walking around town in groups or just hanging out in parks that make the police look ridiculous when they try to arrest the “non protesters.”
We are in for an interesting time this summer.