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    Monday, April 9, 2007

    Orange Square?

    Ever since the orange-waving crowds took over the streets of Kiev in the winter of 2004, Kremlin strategists like Gleb Pavlovsky have openly worried about a repeat revolt on the streets of Moscow. The fact that they admit they're concerned is as close as Pavlovsky and his ilk have come to recognizing the critical flaws contained in the system of "managed democracy" (which could be defined as giving people the appearance of choice, while clearing the political landscape so that they have nothing to choose between) that they have constructed in Russia over the past seven years.

    Whether or not a "coloured revolution" is possible in Russia is very debatable, given the country immense size and the logistical nightmares involved with coordinating an uprising across 11 timezones. And how do you tell people about it when the Kremlin controls the airwaves?

    That said, nervousness is clearly rising ahead of the Duma elections this December and the presidential vote scheduled for next spring. Check out Nabi Abdullaev's report in The Moscow Times on the latest Kremlin-sponsored demonstration here.

    While researching my book, I interviewed pro-Western opposition figure Boris Nemtsov and hard-line rightist Dmitry Rogozin about the prospects of an Orange Revolution repeat in Moscow.

    Both said they expected people to take to the streets to show their displeasure this election season. While both said they expected Vladimir Putin, or a hand-picked successor, to maintain control, they agreed that if the Kremlin did lose its grip, those that seized control just as easily be fascist brown as pro-Western orange.

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