Putin Rival Warns of Arab Spring for Russia
Posted on Mar 2, 2012
If Vladimir Putin, the expected winner of Russia’s upcoming presidential election, isn’t careful, he may face the kind of upsurge in revolt that occurred a year ago in Tunisia, Egypt and other nations when the regional sea change we now know as the Arab Spring took hold. So says Putin’s former ally and now rival, Sergei Mironov, but he is not quite a neutral party in this mix. —KA
Sergei Mironov, 59, said Vladimir Putin was the likely next president but predicted he would face growing unrest if he failed to respond to protesters’ demands.
“Russia today is like the Concordia liner,” he said in an interview at his offices, “steaming on to the reefs while the captain tells those aboard, ‘don’t worry, everything is calm and normal.’ But it’s not normal and we need to set the ship on a new course.”
Mironov added: “Whoever wins the presidency, if he does not immediately begin deep political and social reforms including a clearer articulation of our foreign policy objectives, my prediction is that Russia will shaken by a kind of Arab Spring within two years.”
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Department of Defense
By all indications, Vladimir Putin is a shoo-in in Sunday’s presidential election in Russia. Pointing to opinion polls, he agrees with that forecast.