Reporters were informed that a major research project will study coups produced by mass protest.
Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, claimed that the military will sponsor the research, which aims to prevent the recurrence of social unrest which Russia suffered in 1991 and 1993, according to RT.
Defense Minister outlines research plans
Coups produced by mass protest are known as “color revolutions” in Russia, and the military appears to be preparing itself to prevent such an occurrence in Russia. “Some people say that the military should not be involved in political processes, some say the direct opposite. We will order a study on the phenomenon of color revolutions and the military’s role in their prevention,” Shoigu said during a speech at the Army 2015 forum.
Army 2015 is being hosted at the site of the new Patriot Park, a military theme park opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin this week. The forum provides an opportunity for foreign officials to browse the latest selection of Russian military hardware, as well as listening to a series of speeches from political figures.
“We have no right to allow the repetitions of the collapses of 1991 and 1993,” said Shoigu. “How to do it is another story, but it is clear that we must deal with the situation. We must understand how to prevent this and how to teach the younger generation so that it supported the calm and gradual development of our country.”
Russia’s sees dangerous precedent in Arab Spring and Maidan
According to Shoigu, color revolutions are responsible for ongoing problems across the Arab world and in Serbia, as well as in Ukraine. He went on to call the current crisis in Ukraine “a major tragedy in the row of color revolutions.”
Other Russian political figures have also spoken of their desire to prevent a color revolution in Russia. In March Nikolai Patrushev, head of Russia’s Security Council, stated that the organization would develop a detailed plan in order to prevent a color revolution or any other form of regime change sparked by mass protest.
At the time he claimed that the Security Council already had a number of measures which could be used to that end, such as initiatives to combat “network protest activities,” and propaganda to break the “romantic revolutionary stereotype.”
President Vladimir Putin has also spoken on the issue during a speech to the Interior Ministry. “The extremists’ actions become more complicated,” he said. “We are facing attempts to use the so called ‘color technologies’ in organizing illegal street protests to open propaganda of hatred and strife on social networks.”
Attempts to prevent rallies and anti-government protests
The Interior Ministry later drafted a bill which proposed amendments to laws covering rallies, including car protests and sit-ins. Experts from the Ministry said that clarification would reduce legal ambiguity and benefit Russian society.
Putin decried the role of color revolutions in geopolitical strife during a speech in November. “In the modern world, extremism is used as a geopolitical tool for redistribution of spheres of interest. We can see the tragic consequences of the wave of the so-called color revolutions, the shock experienced by people in the countries that went through the irresponsible experiments of hidden, or sometimes brute and direct interference with their lives,” he said.
Anti-government protests in January were met with counter-protests from conservative activists. Officials claimed that the anti-government protesters were outnumbered ten-to-one by their conservative counterparts.
Along with legal changes and strategies to defeat grass-roots revolutionary movements, the news that the Russian military is preparing itself for the eventuality of a popular uprising is worrying news for civil liberties.