Den russiske opposisjonspolitikeren Aleksej Navalnij ble torsdag angrepet med etsende væske utenfor sitt kontor og risikerer varig skade på det ene øyet. Angrep med den grønne rensevæsken kalt zyalanko er blitt så vanlig at opposisjonen har gjort fargen til sitt varemerke.
Navalnij skrev søndag på sin blogg at Vladimir Putin står bak. Det bygger han på at de som står bak angrepene – som har pågått en god stund – medlemmer av gruppen SERB, – har vært invitert som gjester i Dumaen. Hvis Putin hadde villet stanse angrepene kunne han gjort det for lenge siden.
SERB har påtatt seg å være «vakt» for russiske verdier, dvs slå inn skallen på de som er kritiske til Putin. For ikke lenge siden skjendet de minnestedet over den drepte Boris Nemtsov. Med Russlands historie når det gjelder angrep og drap på opposisjonelle, var det et klart signal. Når man skjender de dreptes minne gir man et klart signal. I stedet ble lederne for SERB invitert til Dumaen.
Når NRKs Jentoft sier at «selv Forent Russland ber om at gjerningsmennene straffes» er det villedende journalistikk.
Putin er blitt skremt av hvor populær Navalnij er. 100.000 har meldt seg som frivillige valgkampmedarbeidere.
Angrepene kommer derfor beleilig for Putin. Men kan slå tilbake.
Navalny was hospitalized on Thursday after an attacker poured zelyonka on him outside his office in Moscow. On Sunday, he wrote on his website that he is still treating his right eye, which was sprayed during the attack, and that he is worried that he may lose some vision.
Zelyonka attacks have become so frequent in recent months that bright green has become the unofficial color of Navalny’s 2018 presidential campaign and the broader anti-Putin opposition. Navalny’s supporters have painted their faces green in solidarity and tried to use the attacks as a way to mobilize volunteers.
Hvis Putin ikke står bak angrepene kunne han gjort noe for å stanse dem. I stedet fortsetter de.
Navalny wrote on his blog on Sunday that the Kremlin was behind the attacks on him, an accusation one of Gazeta.ru’s sources flatly denied.
Yesterday, the popular blogger Tema Izgagin was attacked by men in the city of Samara.
Kreml skal nå ha blitt bekymret for at angrepene skaper sympati for Navalnij. Men det er noe helt annet enn at man ønsker å stanse angrepene fordi man genuint er motstander av dem.
The Kremlin’s concern that the attacks are raising the opposition’s profile comes amidst a surge in Navalny’s popularity: nearly 100,000 volunteers have signed up to work on Navalny’s presidential campaign, suggesting that his political movement may be more popular than many initially thought.
Acronymet SERB står for South East Russian Bloc.
Navalnij viste hvor mye makt det ligger i å ha millioner av følgere. De la umiddelbart ut videoen av angrepet på youtube. Bildene var kornete, men angriperen ble gjenkjent.
The security camera footage was grainy and low-res, but it was enough to jog one person’s memory. On Monday, a Twitter user named “Mr. Radmir” wrote in his blog that he recognized the attacker in the video: Alexander Petrunko, a notorious SERB activist.
And this isn’t the only footage of the attack against Navalny. On Sunday, the pro-Kremlin television network Ren-TV aired a different video (apparently recorded by someone who knew the attack was coming), for some reason blurring the faces of two men — the attacker and a bystander.
Det lå også to andre opptak på samme nettside og de var ikke retusjert. Dermed ble tilskueren identifisert, også han en SERB-aktivist:
This second man was Alexey Kulakov, another member of SERB, who later confessed (reluctantly) to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta that he was present for the attack on Navalny, though he insists that he didn’t know what would happen. “I only went there to film on my camera. A person called me and said that something was being planned at that place,” Kulakov said, refusing to reveal who called him.
Petrunko og Kulakov var gode venner, viste det seg.
SERB oppsto i det østlige Ukraina. Russland ser ut til å ha mennesker som drifter fra satelittområder, tidligere republikker. De er fylt av sjåvinisme og en blanding av kriminelle, løse eksistenser. Noen i det politiske systemet ser sitt snitt til å benytte seg av dem. Dette er en struktur som minner om Tyskland etter første verdenskrig.
SERB’s leader is a man named Igor Beketov, who often goes by the name Gosha Tarasevich. A professional actor and, in his own words, a Soviet basketball champion, Beketov created SERB in Ukraine, where he lived most of this life. Originally called the South East Radical Bloc, Serb was formed in Dnepropetrovsk as a movement to promote the “Russian Spring” as Ukraine’s Yanukovych regime collapsed.
Beketov minner om ledertypen som skapte de. tyske Freikorps.
Da han fikk problemer i Ukraina relokaliserte han til Russland hvor SERB gjorde det til sin oppgave å angripe de som kunne oppfattes som trusler mot Putin.
Hvis Putin ville kunne han ha stanset Beketov for lenge siden. Beketov har gjennomført flere angrep på Navalnij.
Today, SERB’s main targets are members of the Russian opposition, and Beketov talks openly about “mounting attacks” against anyone who “insults Russia, the president, or Crimea.” Beketov even said the group would defend any Russian president — not just Putin — and stressed that SERB refrained from attacks on Alexey Navalny because he has stated he would not return Crimea to Ukraine, if he became president.
In the past, SERB activists have worked with Igor Brumel, a local lawmaker in the Moscow region and a member of the political party A Just Russia. Last October, Brumel and Petrunko broke the nose of an activist guarding the makeshift memorial to Boris Nemtsov on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow. Police later charged the victim (not Brumel or Petrunko) with hooliganism.
And this wasn’t the first time SERB raided “Nemtsov Bridge.” In March 2015, Beketov and several men crashed the memorial, spray-painting over Nemtsov’s portraits and adding stickers reading, “Traitor to Russia’s interests!”
I stedet for å stanse Beketov og SERB, ble Beketov invitert til Dumaen.
SERB’s moratorium on attacks against Navalny expired in February 2016 (about a year after the Medialeaks interview), when Petrunko smashed a pie into Navalny’s face outside the Moscow office of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. SERB repeated the stunt two months later, also spraying Navalny with a foul-smelling chemical.
Despite his history of violence, Beketov was recently a guest at Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of the federal parliament. On April 26, a day before the attack on Navalny last week, Beketov bragged on LiveJournal about visiting the Duma at the “formal request” of unnamed Duma deputies.
“The deputies listened very, very attentively to SERB’s experience with confronting attempts to organize Maidan-style unrest in Russia,” Beketov wrote, sharing photos of himself beside enormous portraits of Vladimir Putin and Russian nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky.