Experts said the sharp increase in the number of protests in Russia

Factors of protest

For the second quarter of 2017, the number of protests in Russia has increased by a third compared to the beginning of the year. In the first quarter was 284, in the second quarter recorded 378 protests. This is stated in the report “Russia in 2017: the number of protests is growing,” Center for economic and political reforms (capr), which is available to RBC.

The protests of experts, CEPR divided into political and social. Second, they take the action associated with the violation of social rights, lower living standards, loss of a job or non-payment of wages. For the second quarter increased the number of those and other protests. From April to July, the report recorded 148 political protests, compared with 96 in the beginning of the year, and the number of protests caused by social injustice has increased from 167 to 205. Data on protests, an expert from the media, social networks, from regional experts and from labor groups that recorded performances in the field.

The level of protests was high and in 2016 and in early 2017, the report said. But last year, a large part of presentations related to specific issues — unpaid wages, claims of defrauded investors and shareholders, growth of tariffs of housing and communal services, development of territories, the beginning of work of system “Platon”, etc. Authorities decided not causing their problems — and this year, the protest became politicized, the participants began to take to the streets with a more General slogans, such as anti-corruption, the report said. With this, in their opinion, due to the increase in the number of political shares.

The growth of protests is due to another factor, seasonality, told RBC the head of CEPR Nikolay Mironov. In the beginning of the year, people are protesting less than in the spring months. Seasonality of protests, according to the expert, uses the power to adjust election day. In 2012, the CEC experts established that the largest political participation, including turnout, we have two seasons — the end of March, April and may and end of October, November, December. So a single day of voting power was transferred in September to lower turnout and presidential elections are appointed to March, 2018 for its increase.

Another factor event — for the second quarter of this year were the adoption of the law on renovation, and mass action of supporters of Alexei Navalny. But the main factor, according to Mironov, is a General increase in tension is due to the fact that the problems causing the protests are not resolved or are being resolved point. “This is the campaign strategy of the Kremlin to solve the problems of point because completely impossible to solve them, but you can come to one region and to solve one specific question, nicely, for the TV” — said the expert. According to him, the Federal government expects that after the public flogging during a straight line President, and after his visits to the regions, the local authorities will start to solve problems independently. “But it’s not working: for example, work in Nizhny Tagil, after a straight line the salary will be paid, and the story about the miners’ strike in Gukovo (Rostov oblast. — RBC) as suppressed, and ignore,” — said Mironov.

Part of the rise in the number of political speeches due to the fact, as media coverage of the protests, he said. According to him, journalists traditionally pay attention to the political protests more than social, and it greatly restrains the protest — the people that do not write, “a priori, less protected.”


The conclusions of CEPR about the growth of the protest is indirectly confirmed by the studies of the Levada center. According to a recent survey, the number of people who believe in their city possible political protests, increased from 14% in February to 23% in June, told RBC a sociologist at the Levada center Stepan Goncharov. From 8 to 12% increase in the number of people who are ready to take part in political campaigns. Even higher number of people who predicted social unrest in their cities. To the question “How possible is now in your city performance against the falling living standards?” in June, 28% of respondents said that their city may (in February there were only 19%).

To say that social protests in recent months has become much more impossible, argues with Mironov, the head of Fund “the Petersburg policy” Michael Vinogradov, based on data from their own studies. According to him, is increased number of political campaigns is mainly due to the performances of supporters of Navalny, but the number of social protests remained at the same level. It is impossible to speak about the fact that the number of social protests depends on how the authorities decide that the problem specifies Vinogradov. According to him, the authorities have no General algorithm somewhere the authorities solve the problem immediately, the panic fear of protest, somewhere ignore or “swing”. The problem is that the authorities are not always able to determine the real cause of the protests and respond to it correctly.

Protests are growing, but while a large part of the protests remains at the local level, says political analyst Konstantin Kalachev. “The government is making progress in addressing them relief at a nascent stage,” — he said. Although we cannot be sure that social protest would not turn into a political one. “It still comes down to demanding the resignation of a Governor and no more,” — said the expert.