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Mark Feygin: we will have to take down Putin's power with arms in hand

11 Nov, 2022
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Mark Feygin: we will have to take down Putin's power with arms in hand

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Russian human rights activist and opposition politician Mark Feygin in an interview with UNIAN explained why the Putin regime cannot be swept away peacefully and also talked about what power options for changing power in Russia could be.

In his live broadcasts, Mark Feygin has repeatedly said that he's in favour of a military way of resisting the Putin regime.

"This is not some frivolous consideration that I express. This is an important statement of the current period. For me, much earlier, but for many - it after February 24th. It is quite obvious that Putin's power cannot be changed not by military means but by peaceful means. Everything was tried during the quarter of a century when he was in power. And the authors of this were not only the Russian opposition. I myself am a former deputy, there were many such people, and insurgents also appeared inside the government. And no one succeeded. Not through elections, street protests, or even an attempt at negotiation, which we have also seen over the decades. No one achieved anything, but everything only got worse; everything came to war. And to a large-scale war in Eastern Europe. This is not some kind of abstraction but a real war with tens of thousands of dead.

It is also obvious that there is a direct projection here: if it is impossible for Ukraine to cope with Putin in other ways than military or negotiations, then why does someone there, the Russian opposition, have a chance to do better? Win the election or something like that. Obviously not.

We can only talk about the forceful version of the change of power in Russia. And it is very diverse. There is no single recipe for this change. But it goes without saying that we are talking about the forcible, physical removal of Putin from power and a certain "collective Putin" in his person too. That is, about changing the entire system of power as such. Because the core, the basis of the regime, are the special services, this is the core of the political system. And changing one Putin does not change anything. Because instead of him, I don't know, Patrushev's son will come, and what will change?

Power confrontation can give rise to new meanings: what should the Russian state be like, what is its role and place in the world, the rejection of imperial ambitions, and eternal peace with its neighbours. These are all things that are diametrically opposed to the strategy of the current government in Russia.

Now about the methods. The fact is that Putin himself chose these methods. By starting a war, he opened this portal to an endless hell, since the war has become an instrument of politics. He gave an opportunity to people trying to defend themselves from his aggression. And this applies not only to Ukraine. This also applies to those who are repressed, persecuted, and punished. A large-scale campaign of repression has been launched inside Russia. This is less talked about because, against the backdrop of the war, everything pales. When people are being killed, civilians, who care about the deadlines handed out left/right to thousands of people in Russia. But nevertheless, the fact remains. And we are on the verge of their return to the death penalty. Even Medvedev, the former president and now Putin's deputy in the Security Council speaks openly about this. Moreover, there are no restrictive norms and grounds since Russia is actually no longer a member of the Council of Europe, and all restrictions in this regard do not apply to it.

I believe that there are several reserves for the power option. The first one has a certain prospect, it is a huge mass of mobilized people. Not some abstract people, but those very Russian inhabitants who are called "kuzmichi" in propaganda terms. This is a Russian peasant, such as he is, who suddenly finds himself in completely unnatural conditions. It seemed to him that they were natural, that it was like fishing or football, but it turned out that there the price is very high for participation, the "ticket" is expensive … As a result, they get weapons. People who are dissatisfied with their position because they were sent to die gradually this feeling comes to them. Russian alcoholism is also somewhere involved quite strongly in this, especially among the mobilized, because it reconciles with the horror in reality. And they have to deal with it. Putin and Shoigu themselves say that 70 or 80 thousand are already at the front. And collected, as it were, 325 thousand in the first wave of mobilization.

There is a line somewhere when this huge mass of soldiers suddenly realises that this is the choice: either you stay at the front and die, or you change it all. You, like a man with a gun, can adjust this reality for yourself. As we saw in Kazan, the mobilized rebelled; they asked for firewood, the general came out, and they almost escorted him with kicks. In the same way, they can kick Putin if they wish. It is clear that we still need to see the prerequisites for this, but they may arise. And, perhaps, political tools can help with this.

Propaganda in this mass. Attempts to convince them that you are not going there, that you do not need to go to the West, but to the East, in the other direction. You already have a weapon, and you already need practically nothing. Your mere appearance on the border not of Kherson but of Belgorod will cause the necessary movements in the right direction.

Second method. There are already Russians among the defenders of Ukraine's sovereignty. They are fighting. There are few of them, because Ukraine is not very disposed to accept Russians into its ranks, let's face it.

In the end, people who left Russia now number many, many, many hundreds of thousands. And among them, there are probably thousands, and maybe tens of thousands, who, in principle, are not against their ruined destiny … Now, who are they? They are refugees, fugitives, absolutely unnecessary to anyone, strangers in these countries, even in Kazakhstan, at least anywhere. Without material support, they faced with an unpredictable future. Wouldn't it be better to go back and destroy the source of the threat to their lives in Russia? You know, such moods roam there. I and many others in the political movements are getting requests, and inquiries about how we can join the combatants. I do not do that. But the fact itself. I see this mood. I see this trend. It will grow. The more failures Moscow has at the front, the higher the percentage of people who will feel the opportunity to change everything in this way will be. Such people, of course, need to be given tools. They should be on the territory of Russia not naked, over which you can scoff and put mops up their asses, but with weapons. And then the situation may well change.

I'm speaking somewhat speculatively now, because it doesn't have a practical program yet. Well, if for such things, then the war has been going on for only eight months. But, perhaps, it is through this path that it will be realised, this possibility of changing the situation by force.

Third way. There is serious fermentation going on inside the system itself, and serious fragmentation. New sources appear, perhaps distant, hostile to us, but which make sense as sources of military initiative - Prigozhin and all the others. This is clearly some kind of process of decomposition, internal separation. This is Russian reality historically contributes to the conflict within the authorities. And I would not dare to say that all this cannot lead to such a conflict in the near foreseeable future.

The conflict between the army and the FSB. It is obvious, because the army was made responsible for the defeat. And the army is somehow not very happy about this because who wants to be alone and responsible for decisions not made by them?

Secondly, Putin decided to create paramilitary formations in order, first of all, to protect his power, and himself personally. We see. It happens right before our eyes. Near Prigozhin, there are already 37-40 thousand motley public - from convicts to professional military men. Wow. This is power, for sure. There is nothing to say about Kadyrov, he had it before.

But here, talk has already begun that some kind of territorial defense detachments should be created. Also, you know. Now each governor will have his own military territorial entity? All this suggests that this process also occurs within the power system. And to say that all this will end in some harmless way - everyone will agree, sit down at the table, without a bloody denouement - I will not dare, and no one will dare. Because I repeat: a victory in Ukraine would have smoothed everything out, it would have driven these problems deep inside. Problems of separatism, problems of the redistribution of resources, and problems of the role of special services over all other law enforcement agencies. And defeat always gives rise to an opportunity for redistribution, clarification of relations, and global cardinal changes. First of all, the main question is about power.

I would say that now is an opportune time to discuss such plans and take more decisive action."


The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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