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Russian lawmaker says pro-American opposition in Russia is weak

March 03, 2015, 7:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The chairman of the Russian State Duma foreign policy committee claims existence of Russian Maidan scenario
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Russian opposition politician Mikhail Kasyanov (third from the left) seen during opposition rally in memory of slain politician Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Mar 1

Russian opposition politician Mikhail Kasyanov (third from the left) seen during opposition rally in memory of slain politician Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, Mar 1

© EPA/Sergei Ilnitsky

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Scarcely any mass movement in Russia is ready to turn into a mouthpiece of the US, believes Alexey Pushkov, the chairman of the Russian State Duma foreign policy committee.

He said in an interview published by the Izvestia daily Tuesday that several scenarios of an ‘orange revolution’ in Russia had been drafted. Among them he named a scenario of the Russian Maidan, with Moscow’s Bolotnaya square regarded as a stand-in for Kiev’s Independence Square.

"Participants in the Bolotnaya square protests (organized by Russia’s off-parliament political opposition - TASS) were viewed as a promising movement that needed informational and political support," Dr. Pushkov said.

"Today the US maintains close contacts with the radical pro-American opposition personified by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Garri Kasparov, Mikhail Kasyanov and others," he said. "Their political prospects in Russia are dismal but the US simply doesn’t have a better choice."

"Not a single mass movement in Russia is prepared to take on the role of a US mouthpiece," Dr. Pushkov said with confidence.

He said the situation looked bizarre when Khodorkovsky de facto announced the start of his presidential race at the headquarters of Freedom House, which is 90% financed by the US Department of State.

"This means he positions himself from the very beginning as a political stuntman of the US and this surely won’t boost his popularity in Russia," Dr. Pushkov said. "These people are simply used to careen the political situation here in this country."

Last but not least, Washington has been probing into a possibility of economic destabilization in Russia, which might bring to existence mass protest movements and call President Vladimir Putin’s authority and influence into question, he said.

"It’s true that such scenarios do exist but the big question is to what degree they are implementable," Dr. Pushkov said.

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