In Russia, citizens are united against the invisible threat of the ‘Orange revolution’ phenomenon. The leaders of the "Anti-Maidan" movement discuss their motivation
This article originallly appeared at Profile.ru. Translated for RI by Aleksei Shestyan
The "Anti-Maidan" movement in Russia was created so that law enforcement agencies do not feel alone and abandoned, said co-leader, the writer Nikolai Starikov. Along with "Anti-Maidan" colleague, Aleksander Zaldostanov - otherwise known as The Surgeon - and leader of the biker group Night Wolves, they discuss the topic of the “fifth column” in Russia, and who exactly fits into this category. The interview is from the news agency "Profile."
- You consider yourselves defenders of the country from the "Orange revolution". Why did your movement emerge during October, 2014? The president's rating is higher than ever, the opposition is weak, the probability of revolution is lower than it has ever been. From whom do you want to protect us?
Nikolai Starikov : I wouldn’t say it's too late. On the contrary, it is very timely... Our task is to express a point of view, which we believe is widespread in our society. Our people do not want the shocking events, the unraveling of things via the Ukrainian scenario. Someone had to express this idea so that a large number of public figures and organizations could join the movement
- Alexander, you are also not worried about the rather untimely appearance of movement?
Aleksander Zaldostanov: I am going to correct your statement. It is your opinion that the first meeting of "Anti-Maidan" was in October. I can tell you that the first meeting of "Anti-Maidan" was in at a Bike Show in Sevastopol in August when some 200,000 people showed up. For a 340,000 person populated town of Sevastopol, that means the whole city showed up. It was the first meeting of “Anti-Maidan." Even our anthem for the movement was taken from the finale of that same Bike Show.
Nikolai Starikov: The idea of “Anti-Maidan" has been in the air for a long time. Just as a public organization, it came to life in October. All of us, the participants' in the “Anti-Maidan” have individually voiced and thought of these ideas before in one form or another. Back in March as part of our "Great Fatherland Party" meeting we discussed the necessity of the formulation of such an organization. We were just able to visibly unite only in October.
-It seems to me that the threat of Maidan is no longer with us - so who will you fight against?
Nikolai Starikov: All members of the "Anti-Maidan" have a very keen sense smell for burnt tires and are ready to do everything to prevent that smell from reaching the Moscow air. After the coup in Ukraine, we began floating the idea of creating an organization, which would have the goal of preventing the development of events in such a scenario. - What forces could organize a revolution in Russia? After the annexation of Crimea, Putin's approval ratings soared to 86%, the opposition is weak, with the end of 2012 its activity decreased, and now it is almost invisible.
Nikolai Starikov: Its nice that the opposition journalists believe the opposition is weak, you rarely come across liberals who assess the political situation soberly.
Aleksander Zaldostanov: I’ll like to point out that the same feeling was felt by Libya, Syria, and all those countries in which the (revolutionary) technology was implemented. They also just thought that nothing would happen, that everything is OK.
- So where does the smell of tires come from?
Nikolai Starikov: The Orange scenario is a whole technology. To do it, you need to create tension in the economy. In 2014, after the reunification of Russia and the Crimea, our geo-political opponents began to consciously create economic hardship for our country. To this end, the United States, together with the Saudis have brought down the price of oil. - In March? Nikolai Starikov: But why do you want to link everything to a particular month? Falling oil prices continued throughout 2014. In addition, the United States forced the European countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia and in turn have activated the activity of the "fifth column". Because what happened with the ruble, cannot be labeled anything but a diversion of events by the "fifth column". Against this background, we, organizations and public figures began to express similar ideas about the need to unite in the movement and prevent the development in Russia, of the Ukrainian scenario.
- What is the "fifth column", which is to blame for the fall of the ruble and from which comes the smell of burning tires?
Nikolai Starikov: There’s no need to hang on to the "Anti-Maidan" label, as if we are fighting someone. When all the socio-political movements, regardless of their views and sympathies, will hold street demonstrations and actions in strict accordance with Russian legislation, we will be happy with such a state of affairs.
- This requirement resonated loudly even before your motion - from law enforcement, from the deputies who tightened the law on rallies. Why is "Anti-Maidan" needed?
Nikolai Starikov: So the so-called "peaceful demonstrators" who destroyed several states, including Ukraine, could not be allowed to get away with attacking our law enforcement agencies and then create the illusion to the Western audience and our own people that the state interferes with any part of the population that expresses their point of view...We want to ensure that our law enforcement agencies do not feel abandoned and alone as the "Berkut" in Kiev, without any public support.
- So you're going to help law enforcement agencies to maintain order?
Nikolai Starikov: We're going to provide a situation in which all social movements will act within the law.
- What are you going to do for this?
Nikolai Starikov: We have already done this on January 15, when they announced the creation of our movement. We had information that one of the squares of Moscow called the opposition tried to organize riots. We came there and invited our supporters to walk there. We came to 1.5 thousand, the opposition - 10 people. As a result, all was quiet, peaceful and calm. Well, some people have been detained by law enforcement agencies, including our supporters who chanted. This was seen as a rally or demonstration.
- I get it. To avoid disturbances, you want to "dilute" the opposition rally of its supporters.
Nikolai Starikov: If in one place will meet ½-two-five thousand strong healthy men, ideologically charged, who have perhaps been to the fronts of some wars, Cossacks, youth - those who are potentially ready to organize riots, they just no longer desire to do it . Everything will be quiet, peaceful, exactly as we want.
- So, you are intending to fight anyone?
Nikolai Starikov: It's not about fighting. We're just going for a walk.
Aleksander Zaldostanov: If the State requires from me some action, to defend it, I will act. If theres a need to fight - I will fight. If they need me to block a machine gun hole with my body - I’ll do that, if its necessary for the salvation of the state. You can be sure of that. I saw what was going on in Ukraine, where three people were killed, they were my close brothers. And I have not talked about friends who were burned, lost their loved ones. To prevent this, I'll do whatever it takes, indiscriminately. - Why is your "fifth column" is not visible? Where is it hiding?
Nikolai Starikov: You think that it is not visible, but we believe it is visible. March 1 will be a political action by the leaders, which we attribute to the "fifth column" (conversation took place February 26, 2015. - "Profile"). These leaders are present in the information field of Russia. They constantly make statements, they are unhappy with the fact that Russia was reunited with the Crimea, they would like to have seen that Russia did not support the population of Donbass.
Aleksander Zaldostanov: A "Fifth Column" in Russia does exist. These are liberals, these are NGO workers, these are people voting for liberal parties because of their political affiliation. There always have been a few of these people in Russia, not only today, but in tsarist times. This shows that people vote for liberal parties - they gain 3%, not more. But it comes to (revolution) technology. Orange technology - a whole array: pumping emotion into rioting crowds. Look at Ukraine; a huge number of sensible people living there today are just in a parallel world. This is achieved by specific technologies. I believe that the creation of patriotic organizations is beneficial to the state, no one can be worse off for it. If there is an organization that is going to prevent a coup d'etat, the only ones upset by its appearance would be the ones who are planning a coup.