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Experts told about a sharp increase in the number of protests in Russia
Material posted: Publication date: 21-11-2017
The number of social and political protests in Russia increased compared with the beginning of the year by almost two thirds, says the report Capra. Experts explain this by the crisis and the inadequate response of the authorities to meetings.

Why protest

In the third quarter of 2017, the number of political, socio-economic and labor protests have increased by almost two thirds compared with the beginning of the year. In the first quarter, there were 284 protests in the second — 378, and in the third — 445. This is stated in the report of the Center for economic and political reforms (CEPR) "Protest activity of Russians in the third quarter of 2017," which is available to RBC.

Experts Capra divide the protests into political, socio-economic and labour. In the third quarter, as in the previous two, most of the socio-economic protests — 312. To them the authors of the report include protests relating to the requirements of shareholders, discontent, growth rates and so on. The most numerous of the socio-economic stock steel rallies defrauded investors, the report (in the first and second quarters of most of the protesting truckers and farmers).

On the second place — political protests, including the rally of supporters of Alexei Navalny: their 106. Experts recorded 27 protests of employees of enterprises related to labour conflicts, mainly with the non-payment of wages.

Most of the protests experts have recorded in the Rostov region, Krasnodar Krai, Sverdlovsk and Novosibirsk oblasts, as well as in Moscow. With the fact that over the last six months, there was an increase in the amount and spreading of the protests, according to Nikolai Petrov, the author of the rating of socio-economic and political tensions of the regions the Committee of civil initiatives Alexei Kudrin. "This is due to the socio-economic situation, which is not well perceived by ordinary citizens, — said Petrov RBC. — At the level of individual enterprises and entire sectors, entire cities the situation is unfavourable". According to experts, the growing number of protests, especially socio-economic, associated with the lack of financial resources in the regions.

In most regions the authorities have been unable to solve the problems that caused the protests, stated the experts. This led to a rise in the number of protests. "Grow almost all protests related to the social sphere, standard of living, violations of labor rights, — told RBC head Capra Nikolay Mironov. — The main reason — economic crisis." Also the growing number of dissatisfied is associated with the failure of the authorities to resolve social conflicts in times of crisis, the expert believes.


Labor conflicts

The authors of the report emphasize labor protests. According to them, their growth is linked primarily to delays and unpaid wages. By 1 October, the total wage arrears in Russia amounted to 3.38 billion RUB, they lead the official data of Rosstat. The number of delays in wages in the third quarter (447 enterprises) is three times higher than their number in the first quarter (147 enterprises) and more than two in the second (196 companies).

Employees "Kingcol" on strike, demanding to pay wage arrears. 2016 (Photo: Fedor Larin / TASS)
The regional authorities have not learned to respond to labor protests, the report said. Therefore, the escalation of the conflict "remains almost the only effective way of defending their rights from employees", according to its authors. As an example of such conflicts, the experts cited the situation with the enterprise GK "Kingcol" in the Rostov region where the debt on wages to local miners have made more than 300 million rubles. and where in 2016 continue the strike. Until September continued protests of workers Darasunskiy mine in Transbaikalia, but there the government paid salaries to miners shortly after beginning the hunger strike, the report said.

In some cases, the government resolves conflicts constructively, experts add. Thus, the company LLC "Energoresurs ZHDK" in the Amur region administration of the city of Tynda and the regional government managed to overturn the order of the management company on the transfer of employees on part-time work.

Analyst Petrov did not agree that the authorities are in General not adequately respond to the protests. "The authorities are doing much to resolve these conflicts, and often successfully," he said. In his view, although the number of protests and growing, but this growth is "not explosive, but gradually" and as long as conflicts "not at that level when they could pose a serious threat to social stability". "Citizens are getting used to the protests gradually, and this tactic of the government is," said he. The number of protests in the future will increase, he said, but then they most likely won't get out of control.

In General, the socio-economic and labour protests in Russia has rarely come under political slogans, found by the authors of the report. This only happens in cases when social conflict becomes chronic, leading "to the emergence of conscious purely political slogans." The protests, as before, are mainly local, although in some regions, and the common centers of inter-regional coordination of protest actions, such as truckers and real estate investors, the report said.

In addition, the increase in the number of protests due to the lack of "viable political parties, public organizations, trade unions". To help the resolution of conflicts could be municipal deputies, trade unions and human rights defenders, experts say Capra.

Evgeny Kuznetsov


Tags: Russia

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