The summer for Putin’s regime did not go well. It all started with a retiree from Crimea who inquired Medvedev about the indexation of salaries for retirees. Later on, the scientific community was shocked by massive layoff plans. A Daguestan teacher asked Medvedev about the outrageous salary of the teachers. A worker from a factory linked to Avtovaz [the greatest car factory in Russia] asked when the workers will receive their unpaid wages by the company with a two years delay. In the region of Rostov, a few dozens of miners declared themselves on hunger strike against the nonpaid salaries of the past year and a half. And some dozens of small farmers from the south of Russia organized a rally with tractors to Moscow, in order to speak to Putin about the expropriation of their lands to benefit the agro-business.
By I. Razin.
Previously, some small riots took place, but not in parallel. With no participation of the miners (sector you cannot play with, in our country), but elders; not denouncing the powers –not even the regional ones; and without organization of rallies from the provinces to Moscow. Those protests were much more in a self-humiliating form of “requesting to the tsar” and not in the form of direct demands or actions, and had no images of the “Judgment of Cambyses” (“they skinned a judge who sold out”), image shown by the farmers as proof of their discontent.
In the past, the response of the regime was to deceive the people talking about money. Nowadays, with the monetary reserves on the flight, their response is “there is no money, you have to hold on”, like Medvedev answered to the leaders of the retiree of Crimea. And later he added a ridiculous promise of one payment of 80 dollars. To the Daguestan teacher, he explained didactically -and offensively- that the teachers work by vocation, not for the wage, and they cannot expect a normal salary; the ones who do not like it must start a small business or get a complementary job. To the worker from Samara, the governor launched a direct and public threat saying that if she was to inquire about the owed salary she would not receive it, and claimed her question was encouraged by the US embassy, and workers should be thankful that they had not been dismissed yet. The farmers’ march was first stopped at each police checkpoint along the road, but then the demonstrators were detained, one was beaten, and the pictures of Putin the farmers put on their tractors to better explain their demand did not help them at all. At the same time, Putin’s regime, with its speech of “the Great Russian State”, is selling the last remains of the State property, and more: with a patriotic speech he is looking for a foreigner buyer of “Rosneft” [biggest oil company controlled by the State] to cover the holes in the budget of a sinking economy.
The structure of the Russian economy under Putin’s regime kept degenerating permanently, continuing the logic of Yeltsin’s times. But over the last 15 years this process was covered by the flow of “petrodollars”, now declining and revealing the pitiful reality. Nowadays, with an even higher external debt; with a country more dependent of the foreign capital and technology; with the privatization undermining the social sphere and the state property; with science, education and technological economic sectors in a decline even worse than before, Putin’s regime has not much to offer to the people except for open contempt, the proposal to “hold on”, the threats of his assistants and the actions of the well fed repression apparatus against any social protest.
Is it possible the protests continue to grow? The best response was given by the governor of the Kemerovo region, Tuleev, who demanded to urgently stop the layoffs in the most important mine of Russia, “Raspadskaya”. Before, the mine management could fire miners under a total indifference of Tuleev; but now, with the hunger strike of the miners in Rostov –a few kilometers away-, the governor of the major mining region in the country suddenly shook and got concerned by the workers’ destiny!
Tuleev, as the whole bourgeois regime of Putin, is afraid of the possibility of a workers, popular rebellion, which is not posed as a concrete possibility yet but no one knows how the situation will unfold. And only the workers themselves can give a real response to the perspectives of struggle against the degradation of the situation, about their pockets, and about the country as a whole. We must rise in full solidarity with the hunger-striking miners; with the farmers who organized a rally; with the workers demanding for their salaries; with the retirees that inquired about the indexation of their payments; with the scientists, permanently terrified by the government; and with the teachers that together with the scientists are symbols of misery. We all have a lot of reasons to stand against the bourgeois power of Putin.
Workers and proletarians of Russia: do not trust Putin! The despot Putin rules for the “native” and foreign bourgeois. He deceives the people with speeches of the Great Russia, but he is driving the country to the abyss and driving us to misery. We cannot have hopes on him and his helpers! Putin is the enemy of the working class!
For a Workers’ Russia, without Putin and bourgeois!
Translation: Guillermo Zuñiga.