tv [untitled] June 13, 2012 7:02pm-7:32pm EDT
to cross-talk the time of protests in russia i'm joined by my guest here in moscow erich krauss he's an independent asset manager fred where he's the correspondent for the christian science monitor and dimitri babied she's an independent political analyst all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect i mean you can jump in anytime you want eric i know you went to the demonstration today i was there as well what was your impressions did it change anything did it mean anything. my impression was it seemed to be pretty carnival like it was pretty friendly there were probably twenty twenty five thousand people there was a huge police presence or it struck me is there being one but it was it was very peaceful i was afraid that because the same demonstrators are coming out month after month after month that to get some attention there was going to have to be some provocations unfortunately there really weren't any there was loud rock music they were communist flags there were nationalist flags they were all sorts of different political views being expressed but it was it was more of
a carnival didn't make a serious demonstration i felt here in the studio with me what is your impressions i mean eric pointed out something that is not very many people point out it is the same people showing up over and over and over again and i'd like to point out to our viewers that the number of people is very hard to determine day i was there it seemed to me like a pretty big crowd but because they were long boulevards it's hard to calculate well for me the most important thing is that we did again regained the right for peaceful demonstrations because you know what i was reading in the war you know there is a feeling inside the public what is a lot of what is not a lot since december last year there was the feeling that we can demonstrate peacefully to be frank with you i didn't share with people i don't want over elections so i didn't go. next time when we have a protest against they took a shooting for or against the health care it's ok but the main reason i want to be . same point i want to hear your jealousy out of me too because i mean on
a lot of single issues we have a lot of different groups of people but on one issue we have twenty five thirty five fifty five thousand people say they don't like that i mean putin in one city moscow i mean how does that going to change the political system well i think there actually if you start a protest against education reform you will get i want more people the broader with these demonstrations since december is there they fall basically political slogans you know we're on the election so we're just tired of lugging their portion but you know there are more people every day did with different things and my view is that in me this new quiet freedom was again under threat because there was violence and then again people got that nasty feeling that if i boarded a station with my kids you know something may happen now again we had another big peaceful demonstration nothing happened so i am happy because next time when i want to go to the street my wife won't be afraid and maybe i'll take my daughter with
fred what's your take on this i know you didn't go to today's protests but you've been to the past ones here what is it achieving what is it you know people getting used to protesting as being as pointed out here which is good for society but if you could go anywhere well sure you know this has been a society that's been frozen for in some ways for for quite a while and the political system hasn't opened up it hasn't accepted the kind of social changes the expansion of society. and it only happens when people actually take action this is crack open any history book and you see that this is actually how social changes is propelled forward people do something and this is a first step because it is it is absolutely true that you get a real mixed bag of people slogans from left to right. i wouldn't agree that they are just united on their and tip of the vladimir putin. i think that there is
a broad range of grievances you might you might call them middle class grievances against the bureaucratic. unaccountability against corruption and the lack of full fledged rule of law in russia that kind of kind of animate them all but this obviously will is the first step and it will articulate into more things a theme is talking about educational reform we have this utility reforms we have a lot of things coming down the track and you might well see people following this example with more single issue kind of concerns and you will see a gradual normalization of russian society through this kind of action is to be i think welcomed and what do you think about that eric i mean i've been know most of the demonstrations to end and i see it's a disparate ok you know you can get under whatever umbrella you want and i'd like
to point out to my viewers some of those umbrellas are really quite nasty i mean there's some really gross nationalist there but i saw today they were wearing who could be mistaken for as n s s uniforms well russia is always a colorful place and you'll have a few people out of the demonstration who have been visited recently by exit terrestrials or. have some other azhar ists want to bring back the czar but i agree with fred pretty much down the lie the this is the beginning of political activism in russia the good news is the young people who were there today fifteen years ago nobody would have protested because everyone felt that whatever we think doesn't matter everything is decided someplace far away and now you are beginning to get because under vladimir putin you have had the development of a middle class something that russia never knew before and every place china russia russia. europe the united states the middle class feels itself under threat is
dissatisfied. and this is an important motor for social change in russia is still america i mean which answer me you're saying is it's the normalization of russian politics it is and what i hope for is i mean these demonstrations are in effect fairly useless at this point because they represent a minority viewpoint the majority of russians voted for vladimir putin and would vote for glad to be uprooted again but what we need is a real our position and effective opposition in russia the british notion of a loyal opposition not simply being against everyone and everything but being for some positive solutions and this begins with regional politics this begins with people running for office for the mayor of of their city and gradually developing a real political alternative in russia which is something which has been missing
until now david what do you think about the nature of the opposition here i think you know eric isn't really and with all due respect i have a slightly different impression than eric if you'll go into the facebook and if you read the press you're see that their moment of mutual anymore is it in russian society is growing i mean people who are against the law to report and getting more and more intolerant. the put the label so i mean unfortunately that's a long russian tradition when i mean it seems to me the what is the element of democracy the more anti putin you are the more democratic you want to act i mean it's just two days ago all there was that huge scandal because on their come on over the water sad members of the russian national team because some of them expressed you know they're so desperately with putin that they're all traitors and even if they win that's going to be a voice for our share because if you are for putin that means that you would be trade some kind of course you know. that should unite all russians so there are
problems psychological problems with that and there is a deeper problem on the it also all the problem is that people who fall to their more moderately leftwing walked us they wanted they voted for the preservation of certain social institutions that steal keep the majority of russians afloat you know education affordable education affordable health care things like that and unfortunately it's not the first time that we get it and you have it all over the world you have it in great britain you have it in other places. the slogans during the electoral campaign are more than a leftist and then you get basically a right wing government which says all came now we start a new bunch of gods in that case in that sense russia is not unique but in russia said often happened before you know history the reaction is sometimes very their reaction is like all where there was a country in the world and it is just unbearable what's going on you know unfortunately that's because of the lack of contact with other countries that we've
had for seventy years but i think that now it's time to wake up and to see that we don't even want a long way in fred if i go to you how representative is the protesters in russia i mean if you see this is the majority of the population because you know western journalists always focusing on what's going on in moscow and there's a lot of social activism here but is it representative of the rest of the country in your opinion look i think what what's going on here is that there is a rising middle class or a marxist would call it a bridge was the they prefer to call themselves the creative intelligentsia but you do have a class of people emerging here who were physically repressed and eliminated in the soviet union and for the first time they are reaching a kind of critical mass and they are. moving into collusion with the bureaucracy which has been building capitalism in russia for the past twenty years in their own image. then for their own convenience and this pure ocracy i believe
has some of the characteristics of an entitled aristocracy. and so you have this new class which is going to punch above its weight in the political arena because it has these coleman class interests if you prefer i'm an old marxist so i don't prefer but but you can you can express it in different ways but you can't just say they're just this rag bag of people who have these fashionable opinions and they there is something happening here that represents genuine social development you know friend if you're going to go to eric before we go to break i mean eric what fred just described it sounds like that many people in the european union have against brussels i mean i'm an old marxist too i guess a lot of us refugees here socialists are old marxists. i mean i'm also i've also been a banker for fifteen years so i done my penance. it has to be i agree with
a lot of what fred says but it has to be pointed out that unlike europe the vast majority of russians have been getting much richer this is a country which has been developing a bush was either over the last ten or twelve years these are putin's children are everyone now and let me jump in here we're going to go to a short break and ask about your break we'll continue our discussion on the demonstration in moscow today stay. the. comfort is the least you have.
money is the last you need if you travel this way. language is common. to. the. emotions are intense. and experience priceless. if you're followed up on my bill it's no wonder the. names are sort of a throwback and archaic part of our long. and it goes back to a time when people would lie down in their forces in the wild west and pick up these future dates important into the sheriff for prosecution i don't think much company may follow suit. and when they go out there is cause weapons.
and have to hope that nothing bad can. put. forward facing killers and you gotta keep that in mind how does the two million dollar deal for his arrest. but not super hero they can be killed to you know they shoot me in the head i'm going to die. and. once you've hunted men you know never go back to hunt anything else.
and you. still. want to. welcome back to cross talk on your lapel to remind you we're talking about street protests in moscow. ok eric i want to go back to you we've talked a lot about about the protests and people involved in it are the authorities listening that's the other side of the coin here we had today putin said it's important that we here and respect each other strive for mutual understanding and look for compromise do you see the ruling authorities in russia looking for
a compromise do they do they get it i think they get it but the problem is the following that the. the protesters are very self-referential and it is a it is a very small minority if you look at the actual election results what you got was that the putin got four times as much as his closest runner up but his closest runner up was a communist the next guy in line was a radical nationalist. so the problem is that russia is going to be moving more towards a social democratic model along european lights for better or for worse and the protests he is hearing and fred i think pointed this out very cogently is from people who are you know. getting the requiring the state for assistance we're getting a welfare state and there's a lot of pressure here to increase social obligations to increase help the family
is to spend a lot of money on the lower middle class if this goes too far then you get the situation we have in the rypien union where it brings the whole system crashing down so. putin has a lot of different voices to listen to when the ones who are marching up and down every we can go and around twenty same twenty thousand people marching around the circle are not necessarily going to be the first ones to be heard like a demon marching around in a circle i mean i think it's an interesting point here i mean what's your take on the do you think the authorities are reacting in the best appropriate way to to this new civil movement and run a little which i think everyone on this program here welcomes the problem is that it's very difficult to react to it because in fact inside this protest movement you have three very different groups you have leftists which eric just very clearly pointed out then you have also liberals who are for those social occasions people like me wolf who has inside his group of the democratic choice also libertarians
people who don't want to make any social occasions so they have leftist recover liberals and you have nationalists and the problem is that differences between them are much greater than differences between every single of these groups and mr putin himself there you know liberals say that is nationalist nationalists say that which is liberal leftist say that crashed the sort of social system. liberal say that no one is rebuilding the soviet system and he's aggressive towards the west which is complete crap to my mind so in fact it's very difficult to react to something something that is contradictory within itself for it what do you think about that very very strange bedfellows this points out here ok but i think we need to remember how this movement got started and it got started in a clear demand for fair elections and it wasn't just about the vote count who got what is about the whole stage managed political looking you serious you're talking about the parliamentary election the parliamentary elections in which you know you
have one huge party that is basically a trade union of officialdom that sets the rules you has a monopoly or monopoly state resources. and you have a kind of purging of the ballot so that you only get a certain number of celebrities reading in all fairness to the united russia took a real bloody nose in that parliamentary election i have to remember you know much of it you may say is just did not do well in the election that compares the election to seymour this is what i'm saying is sort of beside the point we've had twelve years of this very carefully manicured political garden in which anyone who wanted to go into politics with an independent base and compete fairly if they had real grievances or an alternative view to the power were pretty much not allowed to or it was made really difficult and this is this is the kind of thing
that where reforms can happen you know that demand the buy it embrace is right to left everybody who is marginalized in this political system can go into the street all together to demand a little more fairness or i think a lot more fairness in the political system a lot more access to the media this is another big problem they can demand a genuine fight against corruption and not just a declared one there are awful lot of things about this hyper centralized bureaucratic system that really piss off people agree it's right to left erick what do you what do you think about that i mean in a way i mean it's not talked about very much now but it really is a referendum on the united russia which i don't think that there are any fans on this program of that party. i tend to agree with a lot of what fred says but with some provisos the i tend to judge the success of the party of the success of the governing system not so much on its ideology or how
democratic or democratic it is but whether it delivers the goods to a great extent the putin system has delivered the goods. when i used to walk to the office and. the yeltsin years i never saw a fewer than six or eight old ladies picking through the snow for bottles to remember money to eat you don't see them anymore this is becoming a very middle class country now it is inefficient there is major corruption there it could do a lot better and i think it is going to gradually evolve in that direction but this is russia it's not singapore you're not going to see sudden change you're not going to see a rapid acceleration so a gradual opening of the political system is important but i think this is going to happen in the regions i think it's going to basically and say it was pointed out that one of the problems with russia is nobody respects anybody else is certainly
everybody have a different opinion and people have a tendency to scream about you know their their opponents being absolute monsters which there are relatively few months on the scene so there has to be a gradual people have to talk to each other and there has to be a gradual cooling of the terms of debate because otherwise the opposition is simply useless we don't mean erick i mean you're just telling us the entire history of russia if you live here demon what do you think about what he does that well. i'm ok we only matter i would like i would like to be called paul and want to friend said the volatile middle class well i take a slightly different feel that it's not only the cost structure there are certain human types which were present in russian history and which almost disappeared during the soviet period thanks to his methods there was this all tribal russian
revolutionary fiery demo goal some of us a fanatic that was almost instant we didn't see them we only saw them in books and in evolutionary fields for seven or seventy years and maybe that wasn't a bad. and now we see softened the siebel drive and we see a few other people who are like you know all that type i mean beck and i like that as a specialist in literature literature bob i'm not sure i would like to relieve something that we lived through my country lived through in the beginning of the twentieth century but. eric jones the problem here is you're correct and when we look at the history of russian liberalism in the nineteenth century they. are it's a little like you've linsky they're the vestal virgins the opposition refuses to get into bed with the czarist power they refuse to dirty their hands so basically you get russia with a choice between the ultra montane. czarist the far left what ultimately
becomes the the the bolsheviks and i would like to jump in here they're afraid these liberals these protesters liberals they don't like to get into the same bad with the government but they have willingly get into the same bad with radicals extremists yes sometimes terrorists you know all kinds of all the people that's normal to a scene in their view but we lived through it in their late one nine hundred thirty two inch of the century and now i see that puzzles me and that war is made it will be if we see something like a remake with unfortunately for anyone to jump in here and wanted to join. in and say that you guys are living the political system off the hook a little bit you know russia doesn't have a different gene pool than other countries. it's basically the same human types everywhere it is the conditions that bring them forward you know i can't imagine that sort of would be the type of person he is in the canadian political system he
might be you know he might be a member of parliament or something but he would be a completely different personality who is smart talented guy but the street agitator thing is. because he doesn't have the opportunities to go into politics and express himself build his political base compete fairly and that's what's got to change then your political culture will you know but afraid you don't you think that maybe being a demagogue is attractive because you don't get to get to be interviewed on programs like this on russian television i mean when i was this really is really drives demagoguery ok in a can you look at a lot of these people they are just simple demagogues going like in the candidate i grew up in you find demagogues in the local pub or tavern you know sitting on a bar stool holding for they're not dangerous are they well know because you know there isn't a they but they they have their place you know you don't find them in the street was surrounded by thousands of people. that russia has to develop and there's just
no two ways about it the political system has to open up and let different political tendencies compete fairly for power and then we'll see a sorting out is only one of these you know which ones are jumping if i am allowed to jump in here talking about all those off and especially about now like me i walked with american press here and with our western publications i can tell you that ten years ago or even five years ago a person with a view will say like the views of not saying that we should shut off the border with central asia russians are somehow superior to people living in the north caucasus or someone local those sort of who are celebrated he is married without form on national bolshevik member of the portrait of stalin these people would be outcasts for us american press would not in any way support ok there will be portrayed as negative characters now there but for trade as you know it be doing more chanelle by basically good young people who are just
a little bit too radical they can be grown up or and they can be remade into more civilised people under more democratic conditions and it was that strange change their attitude of all. the western media which suddenly became more toward her and towards ok right i don't know if gentlemen will run out of time here a lot more said can be said about russian politics many thanks to my guest today here in moscow and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. can see you next time and remember. any. story. mission and free cretaceous free in-store charge of free
three thirty am in moscow these iraqi headlight his number two calls on the militants across the world to join syria's rebels in their fight against the assad government the statement comes in the deep video broadcast a week after washington said he'd been killed in a drone attack. european football's governing body condemns the violence around the pole in russia match at the euro two thousand and twelve championships polish fans attacked russian supporters before the game and then the police in warsaw after it finished around one hundred fifty poles and twenty four russians were arrested. and while julian assange waits britain supreme court's decision on whether it will reopen his extradition case you kamal's under a new bill that could prevent potential whistleblowers from speaking out. up next our special report couch surfing
a different way to travel stay with us. few months ago i was in q my husband two months and knowing that he has a boy we'd like to be alone so i really i said like. a husband and father son called me. a few times and then when i saw son said. to be ok mummy we've come back he would come back yeah that's my record of why any two months because i tried he was my friend from the beginning. as i told i didn't i'm going to miss him and i don't want to upset my plans. i made the most interesting most amazing show.