Looks like tomorrow could be a bellweather day in Russia, with four separate marches expected to collide on Moscow's Pushkin Square.
The first to choose April 14 for a demonstration was The Other Russia, the opposition umbrella group that includes everyone from former prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov and chess grandmaster-turned-politician Garry Kasparov to the National Bolshevik Party. Organizers expect to draw about 5,000 people, from democrats influenced by Ukraine's Orange Revolution to Bolshevik skinheads, all under the catch-all banner of "those who do not agree" (with Putin and Putinism).
Since The Other Russia declared its intention to march on April 14, the pro-Kremlin Young Guard - as well as the ultranationalist Movement Against Illegal Immigration and the likeminded Congress of Russian Communities - have all announced they would rally on Pushkin Square the same day with the intent of disrupting The Other Russia protest.
As The Moscow Times reports, everybody's expecting trouble. Riot police forcibly broke up two Dissenters' Marches last month in St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod.
In this kind of situation, the last thing the democratic opposition needs is self-exiled oligarch Boris Berezovksy spouting off like he did in today's Guardian about forcibly bringing down Putin. ("We need to use force to change this regime," he said. "It isn't possible to change this regime through democratic means.")
Berezovsky is arguably the most unpopular man in Russia. The fastest way for the Kremlin to turn public opinion against the opposition is to demonstrate Berezovsky's involved in it. Every time he opens his mouth, he hurts those he purportedly aims to help.