The BBC is reporting that:
Moscow is braced for what the opposition claims will be the biggest demonstration in Russia for 20 years. Tens of thousands are expected to gather in a square south of the Kremlin, in the latest show of anger over disputed parliamentary polls. Smaller rallies are due to take place in cities across the country. The protesters allege Sunday's elections - which gave Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party a small lead - were fraudulent. Hundreds of people have been arrested during anti-Putin protests over the past week, mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg. At least 50,000 police and riot troops have been deployed in Moscow ahead of Saturday's protests. The opposition says it is hoping for a turnout of 30,000 in the capital in the demonstration dubbed "For Fair Elections", due to begin at 14:00 (10:00 GMT). The BBC's Daniel Sandford in Moscow says that if the protests come even close to expectations, they will shake the 12-year-long political domination of Mr Putin.
Now let's assume not 30'000 but 100'000 people. That's out of a total population of 11'000'000 (eleven millions) for the city of Moscow itself, and then another 700'000 in the Moscow area. That would be just under 1% of the population. Likewise, 30'000 would be something around 0.3% of the population. And that kind of turnout would, according to the BBC, "shake the 12-year-long political domination of Mr.Putin".
That is *exactly* the same kind of method which was used by Western "experts" to declare that the "Gucci revolution" in Iran was supported by a majority of the Iranian people.
Now, returning to the Russian elections, take a look at this list of polls made in Russia by various organizations and note this: the worst score ever achieved by the "United Russia" party is 51% (the best is 62%). The official result following the elections is 49.54%. So, in other words, the official result is worse than the worst prediction at the polls.
Does that sound like a "stolen election" to you? Would a turnout of roughly 1% convince you that they were stolen indeed?
In the meantime, the very same BBC also reports that:
The top US military commander, Gen Martin Dempsey, says he is concerned about "the potential for civil unrest" as Europe's financial crisis unfolds. Gen Dempsey said it was unclear the latest steps taken by EU leaders would be enough to hold the eurozone together, adding that a break-up could have consequences for the Pentagon. He suggested that part of his concern was that the US military could be exposed to any unravelling of the eurozone "because of the potential for civil unrest and the break-up of the union". The US military has more than 80,000 troops and 20,000 civilian workers in Europe, many based in Germany.
Does that not sound somewhat ominous to you? What is the good general really saying? That US troops might be targeted/involved in the civil unrest? That sure makes me wonder what kind of role General Dempsey would see for US forces in Europe should there indeed be civil unrests...
And then I think that maybe US forces might find themselves a new mission to 'protect' the EU from the 'resurgent Russia' which, no doubt, will soon turn into a 'dictatorship' as evidenced by the inevitable 'crackdown' on the 'opposition' following the 'widely denounced' election 'fraud'.
The Empire's new motto might as well be bis repetita placent...
Sergei Kovalev, whose absolutely disgusting activities in Chechnia earned him the dubious distinction of being one of the most hated persons in the entire country. Bottom line: 'dissidents' and 'human right' activists have exactly zero traction in Russia.
But in the always highly self-righteous and gullible West, the US propaganda's narrative will by and large be accepted. Just like the 'stolen elections' in Iran, Putin ordering the murders of Litvinenko and Politkovskaya, Ahmadinehad promising to "wipe Israel off the map", Hezbollah as the "A-Team of world terrorism", WTC7 collapsing because of office fires, Syria and, later, Hezbollah (both?) killing Hariri, Gaddafi handing out Viagra to his troops, etc. etc. etc. Facts and logic don't really matter in a socio-political system shaped by ideology and ignorance.
UPDATE: Let's parse some of today's BBC report about the events in Moscow:
Thousands of people have attended the biggest anti-government rally in the Russian capital Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union
Really? How about the suppression of the Russian Parliament by Eltisin's 'democrats' in 1993 which results in 3000 dead people only in Moscow after 5 days of combats?
As many as 50,000 people gathered on an island near the Kremlin to condemn alleged ballot-rigging in parliamentary elections and demand a re-run.
Ok. That is something of the order of 0.5% of the population.
Prominent figures at the rally included younger opposition activists like Yevgenia Chirikova, as well as former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister under the late Boris Yeltsin.
Right. The creme de la creme of Russian 'democrats', all deeply associated with Eltsin, his Jewish oligarchs, and a decade of unabated horrors and chaos for Russia. Exactly as I predicted.
At least 50,000 police and riot troops were deployed in Moscow ahead of Saturday's protests and the city began to resemble a police state rather than a democracy, Daniel Sandford says.
Coming from a reporter from a 'democratic' West with millions of people on strike in the UK, demonstrators all over the EU, and an "occupy Wall Street" movement victimized by months of nonstop police violence, that is a rather hypocritical statement to make, no?
There were no immediate reports of protest-related arrests in Moscow but police in Kurgan, on the border with Kazakhstan, dispersed an unapproved rally.
Really? Setting aside what might or might not have happened in the steppes between Russia and Kazakhstan, let's repeat this amazing, mind-boggling statement here:
There were no immediate reports of protest-related arrests in Moscow
I am just amazed. What is the secret here? How come even small sit-ins in the USA result in waves of arrests, and even the smallest demonstration in the EU seems to trigger violence from either fringe groups, cops, or agent provocateurs?! Speaking of which, why did this evil dictator Mededev-Putin not send a few agent provocateurs to start some violence and try to discredit this movement? Might it be that he is really a true democrat? Or is it that names like Kasyanov or Nemtsov discredit this all much better than any agent provocateurs?
Ok. Now let's sum it all up:
It appears that the (justly) feared OMON (riot police with a deserved reputation for brutality) did not use tasers, pepper-stray, batons, tear gas, water cannons. Nobody was arrested. Not a single political leader with some degree of credibility showed up.
Conclusion: this is what the French call a "storm in a glass of water" or, in Shakespeare's words "much ado about nothing". The fact that, unlike in Iran, the demonstrators failed to engage in violence tells me that this entire movement has even less traction than Mousavi's "Gucci Revolution". Think about it - when you represent roughly 0,5% of the population nice and clean demonstration are just not going to get you the attention you want. At this point, you need an innocent "Neda" to really fire up the propaganda and rally more people, you need YouTube videos of cops beating up demonstrators, you absolutely need "proof" of the "barbarity" of the regime. Unless the Russian "Guccis" manage to regroup and get some violence going, I call this entire movement a gigantic flop.
And, just in case, let me repeat something here, just to make sure: I am in NO WAY a Medvedev or Putin fanboy. In fact, my view of them is not unlike my view of Ahmadinejad: they are not the type of political leaders I like, but the opposition to them is much, much worse (at least in Iran it was evil and corrupt, but credible; in Russia they are mostly discredited clowns). And just as in the elections in Iran, I am NOT saying that no cheating took place. I am only saying three basic things:
a) the outgoing government won the elections because a plurality of voters supports it
b) the outgoing government had no need for fraud
c) the so-called opposition does not seek new elections, what it wants is "regime change"