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Documentary about protest movement leaders met with big public response

October 08, 2012, 14:59 UTC+3

Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika requested to probe into facts laid bare in the documentary and to take adequate measures if need be

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The documentary Anatomy of Protest-2 shown by Russia’s NTV television channel on the eve of President Putin’s birthday aroused an even bigger public resonance than its first part, media say. Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika requested to probe into facts laid bare in the documentary and to take adequate measures if need be. The Anatomy of Protest-2 was aired by NTV on October 5. According to the authors of the film, leader of the opposition Left Front Sergei Udaltsov coordinated his actions with his sponsor, the chairman of the Georgian parliament’s defense and security committee, Givi Targamadze. The authors claim a sum of 35,000 U.S. dollars was given to Udaltsov each month to organize force actions.

Along with quite predictable accusations of funding by the West, the staple of the documentary was a hidden camera record, featuring a man resembling Sergei Udaltsov speaking, in a voice resembling Udaltsov’s, with “a Saakashvili regime envoy” about overthrowing Russia’s state system, relying on Nazi groups, Chechen terrorists and other outlawed methods, the RBC daily writes. This time however, experts say, the opposition has real chances to refute the accusations.

The Anatomy of Protest-2 “lead character,” Sergei Udaltsov, told the newspaper he did not think the film might be fraught with any repression against him. In his words, the documentary looks like a step to prepare public opinion for further arrests related to the case of Moscow riots of May 6. Probably, for his arrest as well. Udaltsov said he was going to file a libel suit against NTV, although some time later, after his supporters scrutinize this “hidden camera record.” After the documentary, he said, people come up to him in metro to express their support. Almost all the film’s protagonists have already accused NTV of lying.

According to the RBC, the authenticity of the “hidden camera record” can really be questioned. Sergei Udaltsov says he does not smoke while a man in the film, who looks like him, is smoking. The history about “the Russian nationalist movement’s financing of trade unions at the expense of self-exiled oligarchs” also looks strange. As an example, the film names only the Trade and Right independent trade union, a very small organization acting exclusively in a company based in the town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow, the RBC writes. Internet provides more and more evidence testifying to falsifications in the film.

According to a source aware of the NTV situation, there are many people disapproving of these documentaries among the NTV staff. After the first “Anatomy of Protest” many public figures have been refusing to have anything to do with NTV.

Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika has ordered the facts stated in the Anatomy of Protest-2 film to be verified and requested to take adequate measures in necessary, the Kommersant writes. Earlier, representatives from the Communist Party labeled the film as a fake, while the Liberal Democratic Party has no doubts about the film.

“I think it is a fake. If one has any real evidence, he goes to law enforcement agencies. If one does not, he shoots a show,” said Sergei Obukhov, a secretary of the Communist Party’s central committee and lawmaker of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house. He called to wait for the results of the probe launched by the Investigative Committee. “It is going to end in a zilch, as it always does,” he said.

The Anatomy of Protest, so long awaited and so loudly publicized, offered an old scenario of “venal opposition leaders,” writes the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily. According to experts polled by the newspaper, the film hits wide off the mark. Moreover, it is harmful to the authorities, in the long-term perspective, because it ruins any possibility for a dialogue with those Russians who side with opposition rallies.

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