The media continue to comment on the situation related to the investigation surrounding the Anatomy of Protest-2 film, which tells of a meeting of the Left Front movement leader Sergei Udaltsov with Georgian citizens to raise funds to support the protest movement in Russia. The oppositionist said at the interrogation that the meeting with the head of the Georgian Parliament Committee on Security, Givi Targamadze, shown in the film, did not take place. According to experts, Udaltsov have chosen a questionable line of defence.
The Anatomy of Protest-2 film was shown on the NTV television channel on Friday evening, and already in a few days the investigators took an interested in the persons shown in the film, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily recalls. The plot develops around Sergei Udaltsov’s meeting with the head of the Georgian Parliament Committee, Givi Targamadze. Their talks are filmed with a hidden camera and it is clear from the phrases of Targamadze and Udaltsov that the first offers the oppositionist money for a revolution in Russia. They also refer to the need to radicalise the protest, to involve the Chechen gunmen, criminals and ultranationalist groups.
Spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) Vladimir Markin said that during the questioning Udaltsov confirmed the fact of his contacts in the summer of 2012 with unnamed citizens of Georgia, one of whom he called Georgy Vasilyevich, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily writes. He was looking for legal funding for the Left Front movement. During the interrogation Udaltsov denied that he discussed with them issues related to the organisation of illegal actions in Moscow and other regions. As for the specific statements about the planning of such actions recorded on the video, Udaltsov said he did not hear them during the meeting.
Udaltsov stressed in an interview with RBC Daily that Vladimir Markin’s statement appeared “when he was still in the SK,” and he believes that the agency’s press service participates in the hysteria that has arisen around the movie. “There were many questions from which Markin pulled information with bias. They asked me in detail with whom I met, where I was. It is in my own interests to answer these questions as truthfully as possible,” he said.
“By trying to extricate itself from a difficult situation, seeking attention at any cost, the radical opposition is losing support because people can’t help but believe their eyes,” head of the Centre for Political Information Alexei Mukhin told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily. “Udaltsov could accuse security services of illegal eavesdropping and recording - and would have been right. This line of defence would have been, perhaps, weak in the short term, but more significant in the future. The opposition can easily get away from the path of righteousness, but to return to it will be much more difficult.” According to the expert, the government have tested the opposition, and even if the film was a complete fake, “Lies in response to provocation is a bad weapon. When it becomes clear that the meeting took place after all, the opposition - and not only Udaltsov – will lose much in the eyes of the Russian population.”