Sunday, November 7, 2010
Rather lame demo of Paratroopers took place in Moscow
According to the Russia media, about 1000 Paratroopers took part in a protest demonstration in Moscow. Two well-know figures of the political opposition, Col (Ret.) Viktor Alksnis (a Latvian supporter of the old Soviet Union) and Col (Ret.) Vladimir Kvachkov (former GRU Brigade commander) took the podium for a speech.
One factor which probably greatly contributed to "deflate" this event was the letter sent by General Shamanov from his hospital bed to the Extraordinary Congress of Paratroopers which took place on Saturday in which he appealed to his fellow desantniki not to oppose the Minister of Defense Serdiukov or his reforms.
Either some kind of behind-the-scenes deal was reached, or the Kremlin's pressure has been effective enough to prevent this wave of protest from going any further. Probably a 20% - 80 % combination of both, I would guess.