Moscow: The voice raised by intellectuals including bloggers, writers, non-government organizations and journalists have given sleepless nights to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

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While the weak Opposition remains a mute spectator to take up the cause of people, the intellectuals’ messages have incited Russians who took to streets against the Prime Minister who has no option but to put them behind bars. So far 130 people have been arrested in this connection.

Alexei Navalny, Lionid Parifionov, Yevgenia Chirikova, Boris Akunin have emerged as the heroes of the current agitations.

As the Opposition has proved ineffective, the intellectuals took the command and decided to oppose the government. Blogger Alexi Antolovich, who writes on corruption, was arrested on December 5. By that time, he had become a torch bearer of the agitation through his sensational novel ‘Live General’.

Navalny has termed the Putin-led United Russia as the dishonest and corrupt party. He addressed the protest rally held on December 10 against Putin from jail through his revolutionary blog.

Detective novelist and liberal supporter Boris Akunin has also been playing a pivotal role in creating anti-Putin sentiments among the Russians. Famous Russian TV journalist Leonid Parfenov and environmentalist Yevgenia Chirikova are the backbone of the protests.

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and Grigory Yavlinsky have also joined the protests led by eminent non-political personalities.

Internet has become the most sought after technology for most of the Russians. The social network websites have played an important role in disseminating the message against Putin among masses.

Government news channels are reluctant to telecast the contents related to protests. Worst scenario can be gauged from the fact that these channels were telecasting the programme over how to fit microchip on the back of deer in Siberia, while protests at the Russian streets were making headlines around the world.
However, some newspapers dared to publish them on front page which irked Putin. Consequently, a journalist had to face his anger for publishing the photograph of protest in the newspaper.

There is no room for strong Opposition in the Duma (Russian Parliament). It is said that Putin himself chooses his Opposition. Deadline of filing nomination to the Presidential elections held in March is inching closer. So far a lone billionaire candidate Mikhail Prokhorov, who is being considered close to Putin, has filed his nomination.

Despite having a good representation in Duma, the Left Parties have lost their political strength. The agitation is spreading but main Opposition party Yabloko remains silent on the issue. Following which the people have expressed their anger not only against Putin but also against the Opposition.

Anshuman Tiwari/JPN