Georgy Satarov on Bolotnaya Square: 'An absolute provocation by the authorities'

posted 30 May 2016, 11:52 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 30 May 2016, 11:59 ]
10 May 2016

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Ekho Moskvy]

Below is an extract from: Olga Zhuravleva: 'Osoboe mnenie' with Georgy Satarov, Ekho Moskvy, 10 May 2016

Olga Zhuravleva: Good evening. This is the programme ‘Dissenting Opinion’ on Ekho Moskvy, my name is Olga Zhuravleva, and our guest today is Georgy Satarov, president of the Indem Foundation. Hello, Georgy Aleksandrovich.

Georgy Satarov: Good evening. […]

Olga Zhuravleva: […] I would like to mention Article 31 of the Constitution. Do you think if Article 31 of the Constitution had been strictly observed, there would have been none of the events at Bolotnaya Square, none of the Bolotnaya Square trials? What is your view?

Georgy Satarov: ​Well no, of course not, because what we see here is an absolute provocation by the authorities, and it should be noted this was their second attempt. The first attempt was quite a bit earlier, it wasn’t at the time of the inauguration, but immediately after the presidential elections. They were getting ready for this on Pushkin Square, and with my own eyes I saw the people who were supposed to put this into effect.

Olga Zhuravleva: ​Do you mean a provocation?

Georgy Satarov: ​Yes, of course.

Olga Zhuravleva: ​You mean the disorders were provoked?

Georgy Satarov: ​Yes. But at that time the demoralized citizens did not rush to take part in the rally. There were very few people there. And evidently they decided that this wasn’t of interest. But on 6th May - of course. What we saw on that day was the usual kind of demonstration that had official permission, people came with children, with smiling faces, carrying flowers, with all kinds of jokes as usual. And that’s when it was done.

Olga Zhuravleva : ​But when nowadays our law enforcement guys write about what happened, they say that there were tents there, and tyres that had been got ready and so on. Do you think they believe all this themselves?

Georgy Satarov: ​I don’t think they really believe all this, because if all these things had really existed, they would have shown them to us. Have you seen any of this?

Olga Zhuravleva: ​No, I haven’t.

Georgy Satarov: In fact no one has seen them because they didn’t happen. And if something of the kind had been prepared, then it certainly was not by those people who wanted to hold this march and rally. Did you know that the previous night Moscow road workers were making stones by breaking up the road surface?

Olga Zhuravleva: ―​The Moscow City Road Agency that we all love?

Georgy Satarov: ​I’m not sure what agency exactly, but these piles of broken up road surfacing that suddenly appeared at that place when the marchers arrived, had been got ready by the Moscow services.

Olga Zhuravleva: ​Cobble stones are the weapons of the proletariat.

Georgy Satarov: You have it.

Olga Zhuravleva: ​How interesting!

Georgy Satarov: Indeed.

Olga Zhuravleva: ​It turns out that you are very well informed about everything that went on. 

Georgy Satarov: ​Well, I was one of those who took part in writing a report on the events, that is why I know a lot about what happened.

Olga Zhuravleva: ​What do you think about these announcements from our militant media? We regularly hear about yet another arrest...So many years have gone by since Bolotnaya Square….But they’re still detaining people who either have already been fined in connection with what happened then, or who say that they were not there at all on the day, and that the person on the video which is supposed to be them at Bolotnaya Square doesn’t resemble them. Why is this being done? Do you see any sense in this? Who do they want to frighten when people have already long since stopped taking to the streets?

Georgy Satarov: ​No I disagree with you. First of all, it’s wrong to say that people have stopped altogether. It’s most likely the case that people are probably waiting for more serious reasons, that’s all. As for these arrests, well you see it’s a simple means of getting a promotion, or a bonus. They simply can’t lose if they do this. And they can lie all they want, can’t they? They pretend that what they would like to be the case actually happened, and the court obediently confirms the conviction.