A year has passed since the presidential election. Many then were saying that the voting itself did not matter, that the result was predetermined, that there were more important things… As a result, a year ago Vladimir Putin received a mandate to change nothing in the country, to keep everything as it was before: sanctions, isolation, confrontation with the whole world, support of the war in Ukraine, participation in the war in Syria, corruption in all power structures, suppression of civil liberties and propagandistic lies in the media. Putin did not disappoint the expectations: isolation and wars remained, but the so-called “pension reform”, increased taxes, an arms race, and laws on punishment for insulting the authorities and isolating the Internet added to this.

After a year, it became absolutely clear that Putin’s “victory”, recorded in the Central Electoral Commission’s protocols, was a fake, however, the defeat of the people turned out to be real: everyone lose in the 18 March, 2018 election. Well, almost everyone – with the exception of those who represent an overwhelming minority, parasitising on the state mafia system. That is, an absolute majority of people living in our country have suffered a defeat, including those who voted for Putin and those who did not come to the polling stations at all.

Now, it has become clear more than ever that there is no any Putin’s majority in Russia, but there is an absolute majority of Russians who are ousted from ruling the country and controlling their own destinies, who are not involved in decision making. The victorious minority regards these people are a resource, an appendage of the raw-material economy, they squeeze their incomes from, as from energy carriers.

The standards of living of the losers go on falling, so much so that the government decided to revise the methodology for calculating the real incomes of the population, as their decline spoils the statistics. And this was not caused by adverse external circumstances. Under the same circumstances, domestic billionaires have become world leaders in terms of income growth. Last Fall, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index recorded the following: since the beginning of the year, the ten richest Russians had increased their wealth by almost 11 per cent, becoming world leaders in wealth growth and overtaking as of this index the richest Americans (+ 7.5 per cent) and British (+ 3.4 per cent). The millionaires ranking by the Russian Forbes, released the other day, confirmed the correctness of the findings. There is no doubt that in a country where business is not separated from government, the hidden incomes of the highest officials demonstrate the same dynamics.

A year ago, people were convinced that the outcome of the elections was predetermined. However, it is now obvious that it was then, during that campaign and that vote, that decisions on raising the retirement age, increasing taxes, and building waste burning plants, that would be intoxicating citizens’ children at the expense of the citizens’ money, and many other things, were made.

Certainly, Vladimir Putin did not receive any mandate of trust. He knew it then, he knows it now. But Putin, his administration, and his circle were entrenched in the belief that they can do anything with the country without encountering resistance. Because there is no politics in the country anymore. People were convinced that discontent and protest is one thing, and politics is another. That those in power have the whole thing taped in politics. And that in general, a normal person should not get into this “dirty game”.

The key mistake in 2018 is in this rejection of politics, unwillingness to even think about the opportunities that the government provided for the people under the guise of presidential elections (albeit dishonest, but still remotely resembling elections) a year ago. Like in 2012, when the energy of civil protest was separated from the presidential election. It is necessary to understand and start preparing already now, so that not to throw punches when the fight is over. [I mean] to prepare not just for the next election, but for the future in general.

The past year has very clearly revealed the systemic crisis of government and the inevitability of the transfer of power. And to avoid the situation when this crisis turns into a dangerous squabble between the law enforcement, secret services and the military, a serious political force with your face, with your leaders and with a loud voice (“Make Your Voice Louder”) should be created. People have to confront not only the absurdity which the government is trying to make people get used to, not only stupid propaganda, but also direct threats. Thus, the other day, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation equated the Russian political (precisely internal political!) protest to an external threat, almost comparing the protest movement with rocket attacks.

Joining an opposition political party means voicing one’s political stance clearly, the first step towards struggle for freedom and your rights!

Join, participate! Make you voice louder!